Homeowners usually resort to topping thinking that it’s the right way to reduce risks posed by trees that have grown too high. While topping is practical for agricultural purposes, such harvesting wood, it is not recommended for residential trees.
Debunking Myths on Topping
We at Brents Tree Service rarely recommend topping. We only top trees when there’s no option left. Topping, however, has been practiced for centuries that so many people in Austin and the entire US still think it’s okay. But it’s not.
Below are some myths about topping and corresponding explanations why they aren’t good for your tree:
Myth # 1: Topping Reduces Messy Leaves
Homeowners often complain of the endless batch of fallen leaves they’ve got to clean each day. But topping is never the long-term solution to this problem. While you may experience several days without fallen leaves to clean, expect the same old problem to be back in a couple of months—and even worse. As a defence mechanism, a topped tree will grow numerous shoots in just a short span of time, producing more leaves for you to clean than ever before.
Myth # 2: Topping Eliminates Risks
It’s scary to think about trees falling over during storms. So some homeowners choose to top their trees. After all, trees without large branches won’t fall over, right? Wrong. Topping may even make the tree riskier as it promotes uneven weight distribution and produces weak stubs prone to storm damage.
How Topping can Damage your Trees
Topping should be avoided if there are other alternatives left as it can harm trees. Trees that are topped may suffer from the following:
- Starvation – Leaves are the food factories of plants. So if you cut off branches, you’re going to eliminate leaves by 50 to 100%, causing the tree to starve. The resulting starvation may cause the tree to weaken or even die.
- Infection & Infestation – Topping creates substantial wounds all throughout your tree. And these wounds are slow to close, which make the tree vulnerable to attacks by pests. Fungi and other microorganisms may also penetrate tree wounds and cause decay.
- Bark Damage – A tree’s bark can be exposed to more sunlight after topping, causing it to suffer injury.
- Disfigured Look – Topping transforms a once beautiful tree into an unsightly feature with its hideous branch stubs and unsightly pruning cuts. Considering that trees are a big real estate asset, topping can cause a slide on your property’s value.
Ask an Arborist for Help
Before you make a decision to top your tree, it is wise to ask help from an arborist. Certified arborists know how to assess trees and can help you look for other options other than topping. If topping is the only alternative left, it is best to leave it at the hands of an arborist to ensure your tree will recover fast and not suffer extensive damage.
Brents Tree Service takes pride in the personal relationship we have with our customers. From the start of the consultation to the completion of the job, we ensure that our customers receive excellent, personalized, and in-person explanation of our services.
Call us at 512-310-8789 to experience our exceptional customer service.