If your landscape is being overrun with tall, fast-growing trees, you may feel compelled to cut off the top.
Known as tree topping, it’s become a common solution for homeowners and business owners struggling to control their landscape.
While tree topping may sound effective, you should think twice before proceeding with it.
Tree Topping vs Pruning: What’s the Difference?
Upon reading the definition of tree topping, many people assume that tree topping is the same as pruning. After all, both tree topping and pruning involve cutting trees to remove some of their branches.
But tree topping goes one step further by cutting the entire tree – typically at the top – rather than just a few branches.
Increased Risk of Infection
Tree topping increases the risk of bacterial and fungal infections by creating large wounds.
When you topple a tree, the top of the trunk will become exposed to the surrounding environment. Cutting off the top of a tree, for example, leaves behind a barkless surface through which infection-causing bacteria or fungus can enter the tree.
Of course, this is just one of several reasons why tree topping is a bad idea.
Another reason tree toppling is a bad idea is because it restricts the amount of sunlight trees receive.
Like all plants, trees convert sunlight into energy via a process known as photosynthesis. When sunlight strikes a tree’s leaves, it will convert the sunlight into energy.
Unfortunately, tree topping significantly reduces or even eliminates the amount of leaves on a tree. And without a healthy canopy of leaves, the tree will struggle to produce a sufficient amount of energy via photosynthesis.
It’s also worth mentioning that tree topping can lead to weak branches.
Trees respond to toppling by quickly growing new branches in an effort to attract more sunlight. Unfortunately, these newly developed branches are typically smaller and weaker than before.
As a result, the branches are more likely to fall during severe weather, which could create a safety hazard for you and your family.
It May Not Regrow
Even if you leave 10 or more feet of the tree’s trunk, it may not regrow after being toppled.
Tree toppling causes significant stress, and when combined with a bacterial or fungal infection, trees often struggle to regrow after being cut from the top.
If you want to keep a tree in your landscape, consider pruning it rather than toppling it.
The Woodsman Company offers tree planting, tree pruning and shrub trimming, tree removal and stump grinding as well as a tree wellness program.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or
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