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Topping is a term that refers to an attack on a tree’s uppermost branches. It is a process that reduces greatly the height of a towering plant. The branches that extend from the tree’s topmost level get cut off from the rest of the trunk.

Expected consequences of topping

It unbalances the weight of the topped tree. Once a tree becomes unbalanced, it could start to lean. Once a tree has been leaning for a prolonged amount of time, the chances that it might fall over have increased. The Tree Service in Palo Alto will remove a large number of the tree’s leaves. That means that the number of spots where photosynthesis is taking place has been reduced. Why is that fact noteworthy?

Plants, such as trees are living things. Each of them has the ability to grow. Growth requires energy. Plants get their needed energy from the process that scientists refer to as photosynthesis.

Since photosynthesis takes place in the leaves, the decided reduction in the number of leaves reduces the level of nutrition that is reaching each one of a topped tree’s cells. Cells that fail to obtain an adequate number of nutrients cease performing at an acceptable level.

Other possible consequences of topping

It can aid the development of sunscald. A topped tree has lost some of its natural source of shade. As a result, the poorly shaded bark becomes more susceptible to the effects of sunlight. The formation of sunscald demonstrates the level at which such effects can operate.

It allows for the occurrence of bark damage. As sun beats on the bark, it weakens. Weakened bark could spit open. The creation of an opening creates an entryway for living things that could make use of the tree’s insides.

Insects invade a tree that features some type of damage to its outer covering (bark). The invaders welcome the opportunity to make a home within the invaded trunk. Smaller organisms, too, get inside the trunk and start to eat the nutritive substances that the tree has produced.

Unlike animals, trees do not have a system that works to fight the invaders. Consequently, a tree that has been eaten by microscopic organisms begins to decay. Eventually, it dies. What about the new growth that forms in the area that has been topped? Does it not help to keep the topped plant alive? No, it does not, because that new growth, too, has become susceptible to the effects of both insects and pathogens.

What are pathogens? Those are chemicals that can harm a living thing. Many insecticides contain at least one pathogen. Fungicides are no less pathogenic. Yet a tree that has undergone topping might later get exposed to either of those same substances.