How Tree Topping Can Kill Your Trees

by / Thursday, 14 September 2017 / Published in Blog

Tree topping can leave trees disfigured and dying. Considered one of the most harmful pruning practices around by informed San Jose tree service professionals and arborists, tree topping still remains a common practice.

One of the most common reasons that trees are still topped today is to reduce the size of the tree. It may have become too large for its area or may be perceived as a hazard, but either way, topping a tree is not a solution for either.

The process of topping a tree creates enormous stress for the tree. When a tree is topped, the majority of its leaf structure is removed. Leaves are the mechanism by which trees create their food and the absence of its food supply can starve the tree of valuable nutrients in order to survive. As a survival defense, the tree rapidly grows back and begins to put out multiple shoots and new leaves in response. These turn into thinner and weaker branches. And if there is not an adequate amount of stored energy, this can seriously damage the tree.

As the tree desperately tries to replace its food supply, it will do so rapidly with shoots that can grow inordinately long until they reach the original size. These long shoots are precariously anchored and form weak attachments. A tree that has been topped to control size will be its original size in a very short period of years. A tree that is topped because of a perception of a hazard will become even more hazardous with limbs that don’t have the structural integrity of the original branch. When a tree is improperly pruned, such as topping, the cuts don’t heal as quickly and offer an entry point for decay, pests, disease, and other destructive organisms.

The International Society of Arborists suggests other techniques to reduce the crown size of mature trees. By removal of selective branches at the point of origin and cutting specific lateral branches, a tree can be improved in shape and balance. It can also cut down on the wind resistance of the existing branches and allow for more sun.

If you find it necessary to adjust the height or breadth of your trees, it is important to consult with a professional tree service in San Jose. A professional will be able to appropriately prune your trees to maintain their health and structural integrity. There are important benefits of a having professional pruning by a San Jose tree service. We will never use destructive pruning techniques such as tree topping. Experience counts when it comes to properly pruning a tree. Call the experts at Bay Area Tree Specialists. We would be happy to answer any of your tree pruning questions.

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