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The debate in tree pruning has been playing on for long – topping trees is an effective tree pruning method or not. Tree topping is one of the oldest tree pruning techniques. It is widely practiced till date, in spite of the latest justifications and research on why topping is not the right method to adopt. So, to our curious tree lovers, here is what you need to know on tree topping.

Tree topping:

A large portion of the tree is cut down, reducing the tree to stubs. This impartial cutting down of the tree’s crown or top is called topping. To be specific, tree topping is cutting off the tree’s branches and crown reducing the tree to its stub or to lateral branches which are incapable of assuming the terminal role. This unskilled tree cutting is what we call topping and the harm that this technique renders on your tree’s health is what we are going to look at.

The harmful effects of tree topping:

Like all organisms, each part of the tree has a very special assigned function to be taken care of. Even the smallest of the leaves on a tree has a task to perform. During topping, a method done carelessly as our value Tree Service arborists say, each part of the tree that is lost jeopardises the tree’s health and condition. Let’s take a look at how and what it does to your tree.

The tree crown loss:

The tree crown or canopy. Oh what a delight it brings to tree lovers! Every tree is judged on this magnificent display of a tree’s health and species. In topping, the crown is treated with the least of consideration, because trees lose 50 to 100% of their leaf-bearing crown. When the tree’s crown or canopy is lost:

  1. The tree is deprived of its nutrient supply- the food producers (leaves!) are no more.
  2. The tree is open to sunburn- the canopy is no longer there to provide adequate sunlight, rather now the tree trunk and shortened branches are presented with increased sun exposure. As a result of sunburn, the underlying tree tissues die out, trunk and branches give way to splitting and cankers.

The trunk and branches:

When the tree’s trunk and main lateral branches are cut blatantly to their stubs:

  1. The tree’s underlying dormant buds take charge.
  2. The dormant buds give way to several shoots that grow rapidly below each cut. Since the tree is already dried up on its reserve, these shoots that grow loosely anchored (and let’s not forget to grow on minimal reserve), become an additional risk; not just to the tree’s condition, but it is a threat to property and people residing in the premises.

The open cuts and tree decay:

Open tree wounds are the careless mistakes dismissed in tree health. Unsealed open wounds are the most welcoming portal that insects, pests and other tree-harming lover’s excite over. Tree topping method leaves behind impactful open wounds that the tree struggles to recover from. The cuts are the most predominant stress factor in tree topping. The tree has to juggle between healing the wounds and recovering from sudden resource loss and handle the incoming decay from the large wounds.

Tree topping – AVOID IT!

Tree pruning is an essential step in tree maintenance. Hence, do it right each time you opt a pruning session for your tree! Tree topping is not always the way out to solve a tree hazard. Crown reduction, crown or canopy thinning are other effective and reliable ways in pruning. A smart and neat tree shape or height reduction; no matter what you are keen on achieving from pruning, there are alternative ways from topping.

Reach out to Value Tree Service, the best tree removal company in Austin, Texas area with any questions on tree trimming, removal or maintenance.