“Topping” a tree is not an acceptable, ethical pruning practice, and a reputable tree care company will not recommend this as an appropriate tree care option.
“Topping” is the indiscriminate cutting of a tree by removing branches to stubs or lateral branches that are not large enough to assume the terminal role for proper growth. The most common requests for topping a tree are to attempt to contain its size. “Topping” is not the answer! In fact, the opposite outcome will occur. The “Topped” tree will become stressed and begin to starve due to the excessive removal of too much leaf surface area. (The food-factories of the tree). This results in the reduction of the photosynthesis capabilities of the tree, and it will suffer. In response to this shock, and to replace what has been removed, the tree will activate latent buds, forcing multiple shoots to grow far more rapidly than normal. The accelerated growth rate of these new branches, does not allow for proper structural development, therefore becoming weakly attached. Decay will also set into these sites. Your tree as become more hazardous! Your topped tree will be more costly to maintain, as regular breaks, and wind damage may occur. A “topped” tree will likely reduce your property value as well. Another potential cost of a “topped” tree is that of a potential liability. Since this is an unacceptable practice, any damages or injury caused by a hazardous tree, may lead to a finding of “negligence” in a court of law. A “topped “tree is also more attractive to some insect and/ or disease problems.
These are some of the reasons why NOT to top your tree! A correctly pruned tree enhances the natural forms and beauty of your landscape!
A healthy, well-maintained, properly pruned tree can increase your property’s overall curb appeal, and value. A Professional, Certified Arborist can provide you with Tree Pruning Services in Edmonton and Area, and will suggest correct options or alternatives for the care of your trees.