Tree topping is one of the most commonly utilized methods of eliminating excessive limbs and branches from trees. However, this practice has garnered a lot of controversy of the years, which may have made you uncertain of whether or not you want to bother with it. Read on to find out if tree topping is right for you.
Tree Topping Definition
Tree topping is defined as the practice of removing more than 50% of a tree's foliage using "internodal" cuts. The concept of cutting internodal is somewhat complex, but it basically boils down to cutting limbs and branches indiscriminately and against their grain.
While tree topping immediately gives your tree a sparser, more slender, look, some tree experts claim it's too much. They warn that the dangers of this practice far outweigh any benefits that it may have possessed, and that there are safer procedures that achieve a similar result.
The Benefits of Topping Trees
Before moving on to the dangers of the topping, it's not a bad idea to get a feel for the benefits of the practice. After all, there has to be a reason why people still top their trees. Tree service experts that top trees claim that it:
- Creates trimmer trees that enhance that value of your home
- Lets sunlight through to your grass, giving it the chance to grow stronger
- Eliminates broken, damaged, and dead branches
- Decreases the "wild" aesthetic of your trees
- Allows more air to flow through the tree, which decreases the number of insects in your yard
The Dangers of Topping Trees
Now that you know about some of the benefits of tree topping, you can dive hear first into the dangers. Tree lovers and even many tree service experts have come out against the practice for a wide variety of reasons. These anti-tree-topping experts claim that it:
- Destroys the natural structure of a tree
- Makes it more difficult for the tree to heal after pruning
- Disrupts the trees nutritional balance by removing too much foliage
- Stimulates easily broken new growths
- Decreases a tree's appearance
- Lowers property values
Alternatives to Tree Topping
If tree topping doesn't sound like a practice you want to invest in, you can always spend extra time more carefully pruning your trees. Tree topping is often popular with many homeowners because it is so indiscriminate: it doesn't require careful or even planned cuts.
However, pruning and trimming your tree requires identifying damaged limbs and pruning them just before the growth spurt of spring. In fact, carefully pruning the bottom branches of your tree while it's still young helps stimulate the growth of stronger and more structurally sound replacement branches.
By now you should have a pretty good idea of whether or not tree topping is right for you. However, if you have any more questions regarding tree topping, contact your local tree service expert as soon as possible. They can fill you in on anything else you need to know.