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Tree Topping is Dangerous to Your Tree’s Health

by tiatimoteo

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There are many ways to reduce the size of a tree—and tree topping isn’t one of them. Despite arborists themselves saying that it hardly speaks of tree care, a lot of people continue to do it. What exactly is tree topping and why is it perceived as a negative practice?

Tree topping is the act of cutting stems and branches to stubs primarily to reduce the size of the tree. However, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) says that topped trees become more dangerous than they were before they were topped. The ISA also suggests leaving the task of pruning trees to professional arborists. Listed below are a handful of reasons why topping does more harm than good.

Topping starves the tree

The ISA says tree topping removes half, if not all, of the leaf-bearing crown of any tree. As you know, trees and other plants produce their food in the leaves by processing raw materials such as water and sunlight into sugar. Taking out the tree’s ability to produce leaves also takes out the tree’s ability to make its own food.

Topping denies tree shade

Along with food production, tree topping also eliminates a tree’s ability to give shade or bear fruit. What good is a tree under the hot Florida sun if it hardly has any leaves to provide shade for people? In any hot place, cool tree shade is a welcome respite for people to beat the heat.

Topping promotes decay

Like the human body, trees have their own way of closing up wounds and healing over time. According to the ISA, pruning a tree branch beyond the branch collar where it’s attached to the tree body is ideal. Cutting somewhere else may result in the tree’s inability to close the cut. An arborist tampa residents work with says exposed tree tissue can lead to eventual decay.

Topping affects a tree’s appearance

Topped stems and branches tend to grow multiple stems and branches, as the tree is in dire need of leaves. While these new stems and branches may facilitate the growth of more leaves, an arborist tampa says too many of these can make the tree look unsightly. To make matters worse, some of these latent buds may not produce leaves at all.

For more information on how tree topping can harm your tree, visit the ISA resource website, Trees Are Good, at Better yet, let a tampa arborist look at your tree so that he can see what he can do about it.

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