Driving around Tucson, viagra sale I have noticed a lot of trees lately that have been topped. What is topping? According to Trees Are Good from the International Society of Arboriculture “Topping is the indiscriminate cutting of tree branches to stubs or lateral branches that are not large enough to assume the terminal role. Other names for topping include “heading, ” “tipping, ” “hat-racking,” and “rounding over.” Essentially, your tree ends up looking like it got a flat top haircut.
Why do people top their trees? Here are some of the reasons:
- They don’t want to have to trim their tree again for a long time. And, they want to save money.
- Their views are blocked by the tree.
- They want a smaller tree.
- The tree is too big and dangerous.
Topping trees doesn’t resolve any of these problems. It creates even more problems in the long run. Here’s what actually happens when you top a tree:
- The branches that are left try to regenerate the branches that were removed by growing new branches from the ones left.
- These branches are loosely attached and can easily break off during a strong wind.
- The branches grow back even thicker than the ones that were originally there making a visibility problem even worse.
- The smaller tree ends up with a bigger and thicker tree canopy.
- The tree has to be trimmed even more often to remove the regrowth of branches costing even more money.
- Big trees become even more dangerous when they are topped.
- The large amount of branches cut opens the tree up to diseases and insect problems.
- The tree can become sunburned from having all the top branches removed and it can become damaged.
- The tree may have trouble photosynthesizing because so many leaves were removed.
What is the right way to trim a tree when you have the problems mentioned earlier?
First of all, always plant the right tree in the right place. If you do this you will avoid a lot of problems including having a tree that grows too big or is blocking your view.
Second, trim trees properly by not removing more than 25% of the branches during any one trimming. And, always take a branch back down to the next branch section. Don’t leave a stub on the cut branch. Here’s an example of how a branch should be cut.
Here’s what you end up with when you top a tree:
It may not look so bad at first but later on you will have a tree that is weak and has lots of problems.
If you’re interested in more information about tree topping the International Society of Arboriculture Trees are Good site has detailed information about tree topping and proper tree pruning.
Call us at (520) 370-5697 if you have any tree trimming questions.
Deborah Munoz-Chacon, Certified Arborist
Sonoran Oasis Landscaping