4 Reasons Tree Service Technicians Avoid Topping Off A Tree

Pruning and trimming trees can be done with several methods. One method that good tree service technicians avoid involves cutting off the top of the tree or cutting back secondary branches excessively far. Sometimes service technicians wind up topping off trees on a highway if those trees are growing into power lines, but they generally don't want to do this on residential or commercial properties. Some arborists, in fact, may refuse to do this type of work. There are certain important reasons for this.

About Tree Topping

Also called stubbing and heading, topping involves cutting the main vertical branch and secondary branches to such an extent that they can't grow back again. Sometimes property owners want a technician to chop off the top of a tree because they worry the tree is getting too tall. They believe that excess weight on top makes the tree more vulnerable to wind damage, or they don't like the amount of shade in the yard. 

Reasons Tree Topping Is Unsuitable

Nutrition Depletion

The practice eliminates a large number of leaves at one time. Leaves are essential for providing nutrition to the tree through photosynthesis, and the tree becomes stressed when nutrition suddenly is depleted. That makes it more susceptible to insect infestations and disease.

Excessive New Shoot Growth

The tree responds to the sudden reduction in leaf cover by producing a large number of shoots below the cut branches. Those shoots are not thoroughly anchored in the tree, and they become weak branches. They grow rapidly and actually increase the risk of wind damage.

Unattractive Appearance

A tree with its top cut off looks unnatural and disfigured. This can have a negative impact on the look of the entire property. It can even lower a home's property value if prospective buyers know they will have that unattractive tree cut down. 

Rotting Branches

When branches are cut in this extreme manner, the tree may not be able to close the wounds. That allows decay to set in and further damage the plant. Rot may eventually spread down the trunk and kill the tree. 

Concluding Thoughts

If you've been considering having one or more trees topped, understand the reasons why this is not a good idea. A professional tree service technician can trim your trees in a way that addresses your concerns while also preserving the integrity of the plant's structure. For instance, they might selectively trim branches throughout the crown, which reduces the weight of the upper part of the tree. 

For more information, contact Carlos Tree Service Inc. or a similar company.