April 20, 2024

Professional is cutting trees using a chainsaw Cutting trees with saw

All tree owners resort to tree pruning in the autumn and winter season as that is the best time to make it healthy for the spring season. Trees provide an aesthetic appeal to your house and provide numerous benefits to the environment. However, you can destroy those benefits by adopting a bad pruning technique known as ‘topping’. Most tree services would advice to avoid tree topping.

What Is Tree Topping?

Topping is also referred to as stubbing, heading, tipping, hat racking, rounding over, and dehorning. It is a tree pruning practice that expert arborists around the world say should be banned. Topping means drastically cut off the top of the tree to reduce its height. In this method, the branches and limbs from the top are cut.

Considering the indescribable advantages of a tree and also that it actually increases the resale value of your home and maintains the temperature of the environment, homeowners fail to take proper care of the trees. Some make sure to prune in a haphazard manner while some top them away and cause damage to an extent that they die.

Why Should Tree Topping Be Avoided At All Costs?

All arborists unanimously agree on one thing; tree topping is bad for your trees. Here is why:

  • When you cut away the tops of the tree, you deploy the tree of its natural beauty and aesthetic appeal. The tree looks barren and unappealing. It will grow back but it will not look strong and beautiful.
  • You are also removing the leaves and branches from the top. This way you are robbing the tree of its natural nutrients and food.
  • When you are topping, you are removing or shortening a tree’s limbs and branches, hence you are causing destabilization. The limbs will grow back again but this time they will be weaker in nature due to the tendency of the tree. The weak limbs will not be able to withstand rainfall, storms, or snow and hence will die earlier than the expected survival rate.
  • Shorter limbs or exposed limbs are much more prone to get diseases and also open cuts attract pests and insects. This way you are reducing its chances of survival. Once a tree starts to decay then you will not be able to save it.
  • When you chop off the top protective barrier of the tree you expose it to high heat in the sun with its open wounds and this causes it to get sun scalded. The bark is now exposed and the tree can get ill with shock.
  • The nearby plantation is also affected as the tree fails to provide shade.

Why Is Tree Topping Done?

Topping has so many disadvantages but still, some people go for tree topping because of the reasons listed below.

  • Sometimes the tree grows so tall that it interferes with the electric power lines. The danger of an electric shock or current is far more than that of a topped tree.
  • Sometimes the tree grows so tall that it enters the neighbors’ house or public property and causes its debris to fall over there. Or the tree clashes with chimneys or roads or windows and hence the need for topping. Other than that, the tree can also act as an obstruction and block specific views and scenery such as a lake or park.
  • Homeowners feel that a tall tree attracts severe storms, rainfall, and snowstorms. The taller the tree the more it will be damaged in a storm and also wreak havoc in the vicinity. In fact, what homeowners do not know is that it is the other way round. By topping you make the tree weak and more susceptible to damage during and after a storm. Before the tree is topped, its strong structure is able to withstand and sustain the pressure of the storm and also survive. But after topping, you have already reduced its survival chances and made it weak.

Final Word

There are many ways other than topping which you can go for if the height of the tree is creating problems for you. Professional arborist services Bethesda will be able to help you with that, but they will be completely against tree topping.

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