Why Tree Topping is Terrible
If you’re concerned that a large tree on your property poses a safety hazard, some tree care professionals may recommend topping it. Tree topping refers to the removal of a tree’s lateral branches, leaving only the trunk and scaffolding branches intact. By reducing the size, you supposedly reduce the hazard. However, topping can actually make a large tree more dangerous and should be avoided whenever possible.
A tree’s leaves are its many source of nutrients. When a tree is topped, a majority of its leaves are removed. A topped tree will quickly start to develop new branches and leaves as replacements. If a tree doesn’t have enough energy stored up to do this, it can become weak and start to die. Although the new branches may look like healthy growth, they’ll be much weaker than the ones that have been removed. In a storm, they can easily snap off, causing damage to your property.
The removal of leaves also means that a topped tree will have little protection from the sun. Without enough shade, the trunk and large branches may start to absorb an unnatural amount of heat. This can cause the tree’s bark to split. Cankers can form, and branches can start to die.
Tree topping repair can be carried out by a tree care professional. They can identify and remove weak sprouts, leaving the ones that will grow into strong branches. The repair process can take years and should be handled by a qualified expert.