The Dangers of Tree Topping
Tree topping is a common practice sometimes called heading, hat-racking, or rounding over. During this process branches, lateral branches, and shrubs are cut because they are not big enough. The end purpose of tree topping is to lower the size of the tree. Many state that larger trees are a risk to there property and so they choose to have them topped.
Tree topping typically removes somewhere between 40 to 90 percent of the crown of the tree. By cutting off these branches and reducing the amount of leaves it can become harmful for the tree. This is because the tree notices its leaves have been cut and it triggers the lingering survival tactics of its buds in order produce new leaves immediately. Now imagine that the tree at hand does not have enough energy in the bank and it goes to reproduce without the right amount of resources. Now the tree will seriously exhaust itself just trying to finish the process it began in the first place. It is now weak and hungry for nutrients with virtually no way to show it until it’s too late.
It’s also worth noting that the damages left behind by the topping are now targeted by insects, fungi’s, and infestations. The sap and nutrients within the tree are now sensed much easily by insects who perform a rallying call to its own kind.
In topping the cuts to branches are made at the lateral branch points. In most cases the tree is not strong enough to mend its lateral branch wounds. The inside of the tree becomes open to feeding, disease, and decay. Any organisms or intruders into the tree will carve a path through the branches to more pure and easily obtained feed. After the topping process certain branches and shoots may be capable of growing back. However, in most cases the tree is not able to create new branches that are intertwined from the inside out leading to more stable structures. Instead what will happen is the insides will remain weak and become more susceptible to its enemy’s.