What is Tree Topping

And Why It’s Not Good


If you think your tree may be getting too tall, the first thought is to usually cut some off the top. Tree topping involves cutting back a significant amount of tree branches off the top of the tree. While there are a few reasons why this should be done, there are right and wrong ways to go about it.

Why Tree Topping is Done

Other than a tree getting too tall, there are other reasons trees may get topped, including:

  • Preserve a certain view
  • Prevent branches from hitting power lines
  • Cut back dead branches
  • Prevent any additional storm damage
  • Stimulate growth
  • Increase light penetration

How Tree Topping Can Go Wrong

If too much of a tree is cut down, it can be detrimental to its health. You don’t want to remove more than twenty-five percent of the trees leaves. If you do, any of the following can happen:

  1. Growth is stimulated after any pruning, so the more you prune, the faster the branches will re-sprout. This certainly doesn’t help those wanting to keep the tree at a certain height.
  2. More new sprouts mean more weaker branches than before. This could lead to even more damage to the new thin branches in a storm or windy day.
  3. The exposed stubs of the topped tree will not seal very fast. This makes them prone to insect infestations, disease, and decay.
  4. When too much of the crown is removed it disrupts the tree’s ability to make food. This puts the tree in a state of shock and starvation.

Tree Topping Alternatives

To save yourself from even having to think about tree topping, plant the tree in a spot where you won’t have to worry about it blocking a view or messing with power lines. Always follow proper tree pruning techniques to keep it in tiptop shape. For more pruning procedures, contact Elite Tree Care.

Tree Pruning Guide

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Learn how, when, and how much to trim or prune your trees to maximize their health and beauty. This guide covers the factors that go into tree trimming (pruning) and will help you make a more informed decision about hiring a professional tree service.