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Residential Tree Care: Why Tree Topping is a Bad Idea?


Tree trimming

The practice of tree topping has been around for quite some time now. It is one of the most common methods of reducing the size of a tree. However, topping a tree is a bad idea. It affects both the health and the aesthetics of a tree. When it comes to residential tree trimming, there are other effective ways than tree topping.

First, let’s take a look into what tree topping is, and why is it a bad idea.

What is Tree Topping?

When you have a lot of tall trees surrounding your house and residential area, sometimes you can feel that some of the trees have outgrown your preferred size. You might find it visually unappealing. You can also feel it’s a security hazard because the top branches of the trees might easily be affected by tornados or other dangerous storms. So, you decide to reduce them. Residential tree trimming becomes a necessity in such situations.

Tree topping is the common practice of removing the top branches of a tree to reduce its height and size. Sometimes, a portion of its trunk is also cut-off from the top, and what is left is a barren and sickly tree bereft of leaves.

Why is Tree Topping Bad?

Tree topping is extremely harmful to a tree’s health. A topped tree looks bad and unnatural. But that’s not the only downside of tree topping. It harms the trees in multiple ways such as:

  1. Exposed wound:

Tree topping leaves trees with multiple large wounds in the body of the tree. Open wound marks make the trees vulnerable to bacterial and other kinds of infections. Trees are often seen to succumb to these injuries and never recover again.

  1. Stress:

Tree topping creates a stressful situation for a tree.

Generally, tall trees don’t have much leaf-bearing branches near the ground, or near its root. All the leaves are placed at the top. There’s a specific reason for it to happen. Leaves help the trees to produce energy through the photosynthesis process. For this, the leaves need access to the sunlight. Leaves on the lower branches of the tree cannot access an adequate amount of sunlight. So, the trees grow the leaves on top.

When we top a tree, we target the top branches, i.e. the leaf-bearing branches. As a result, left with no leaves, trees are placed in an extremely stressful situation because they cannot produce energy through photosynthesis.

So, even if you need residential tree trimming, do not opt for Tree Topping. Here’s another good reason:

  1. Not cost-effective in the long run:

Tree topping might feel a pocket-friendly option in the present. But, in the future, it will cost you a lot. Here’s why.

As discussed earlier, tree topping is very stressful for the trees. As a result, the topped tree tries to recover from this situation desperately by growing lots of leaf-bearing trees very fast. It creates two problems.

  1. The fast-grown branches are often very weak. As a result, they break too often in stormy weathers and increase the security hazards even more than before.
  2. The sudden outgrowth of trees can lead to an even bigger, even bushier tree than before within two years. That means, after two or three years, you’ll have to spend money on cutting the trees again. It becomes a recurring cost without a long-term effective solution.

The solution:

The only effective solution to this problem is choosing a professional service for your residential tree trimming needs. Professional tree trimming services apply the pruning technique instead of the topping.

What is Tree Pruning?

Tree topping comes with a lot of downsides. That’s why professional tree services employ expert arborists to the job. They first examine the trees very well. Then they carefully select those tree branches that are already weak and pose security hazards. Arborists cut the weak and feeble branches first. If that does not reduce the size of the tree significantly, they again carefully select a number of branches to be cut off. The careful selection and subtraction of tree branches result in a miniature tree. It doesn’t look odd, doesn’t hurt the aesthetics of your landscape, but effectively reduces the size of the tree.

In tree pruning, not all leaf-bearing branches are cut-off. So, it causes no stress for the tree. They don’t try desperately to grow back to their original size because they don’t feel their existence is threatened. As a result, we see a slower, more natural and organic growth in the trees. The pruned trees don’t go back to their original size in the next 5-6 years. So, in the long run, tree pruning is more pocket-friendly than tree topping.

While selecting a professional tree service, make sure that they have the latest and trendy equipment with them. Hiring an agency with adequate experience and good reviews are also recommended.

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