Topping is the name of an extreme type of tree pruning. When a tree is topped, the height of the tree is reduced by removing large limbs or cutting off the main trunk. Topping a tree is typically used in the wood harvesting industry. Residential tree topping, however, is rarely ever a needed course of action.
Misconceptions About Tree Topping
The first thing everyone should know about tree topping is a lot of tree service providers do not recommend it. In fact, it is almost always a last resort when all other tree service options such as traditional pruning have been exhausted. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fallacies about tree topping that tend to leave people to believe it is a good choice.
It Makes Less of a Mess: Some people believe tree topping is a great pruning option because it reduces the mess the leaves cause. While this may be true, is the reduced mess really worth shortening the life of the tree? Furthermore, the new shoots that will grow in place of the ones that have been pruned are going to grow in faster and fuller than before. In time, your tree will create more of a leafy mess than it did before you topped it.
It Reduces the Risk of the Tree Falling Over: Topping a tree actually increases the risk of a tree falling over because it creates an unbalanced weight. Furthermore, this type of pruning may actually put a tree that was never at risk of falling over at risk because it is now unbalanced. If you are worried about a tree in your yard falling over, just have a certified arborist inspect the tree. They can check for structural weakness and determine whether or not you have anything to worry about.
Why Topping Is Dangerous
Topping a tree can put a great deal of stress on the tree. It can even cause the tree to die. For starters, this type of pruning removes a large portion of the leaves from the tree. The lack of leaves make it hard for photosynthesis to take place, which is necessary for the tree to survive. Topping a tree also puts the tree at risk for bark damage, sun scalding, and decay causing organisms, all of which can cause the tree to die.
It is vital to talk to a company like Darrel Emel's Tree Service before taking such drastic action with one of your trees.