What Is Tree Topping, and Why Is It Harmful to Trees in Milton, GA?

Have you been researching tree care tips as a novice tree enthusiast and come across different pruning techniques? You may be asking, “What is tree topping?” and you’d be right to take caution of this practice as a tree owner in Milton, Georgia, or anywhere else. Tree topping can make your precious trees more susceptible to disease or even prove fatal.

Georgia Tree Company, top-rated tree services in Milton, GA, shares more below.

Why Tree Topping Still Happens

The more care you put into your trees, the bigger, more resilient, and healthier they will become. Isn’t that why arborists prune trees? Pruning removes dead or injured branches, clearing room for leaves to receive more light and controlling the growth of the tree. 

Technically, you could consider tree topping an extreme form of pruning. However, it comprises improper tree trimming techniques rather than a viable option for responsible tree care. In fact, tree topping is the rather archaic process of excessively removing tree limbs until you have reached the desired height. 

The Negative Effects of Tree Topping 

Why go for professional tree care services vs. DIY topping? If your ill-advised tree topping efforts remove 50 to 100% of the leaf-bearing crown, you will essentially starve the tree. Subjecting it to such tremendous stress could easily kill your tree, so it’s best to avoid this practice altogether.

Removing leaves, a vital part of the plant, can lead to consequences like lost trees. For example, tree topping can lead to the following issues: 

  • Without the protection of leaves, trees get sunburnt.
  • Improper cuts result in decaying or rotting limbs.
  • Natural wildlife loses shelter and a food source.
  • The tree might be structurally weakened.

If tree topping causes a fallen tree, structures and people nearby are also in danger. 

Other Dangers of Topping Trees

What is tree topping? The real question is just how dangerous the practice can be. 

Tree topping doesn’t just impact the tree now, but its future development. That means topping a tree will risk regrowing weakly attached limbs. However, these limbs will still be capable of growing up to 20 feet long.

Once these limbs get heavy, you can expect breaks and falls. So, avoiding broken structures or even significant injury to people walking by in the future starts with avoiding tree topping and similar unhelpful practices.

Alternatives To Tree Topping for Height Management

Are there viable alternatives to tree topping? Yes! Take crown reduction as an example of an arborist service that reduces the height of a tree without causing harm. 

Why choose tree topping vs. crown reduction? 

  • Crown reduction has the same intended results as tree topping. It controls tree growth, but it lacks the risks. 
  • Crown reduction is a highly specific, tree-safe form of pruning. Nearly all professionals recommend this approach.

Contact Georgia Tree Company’s Tree Care Experts

When you need expert care for your trees, Georgia Tree Company can help. We’ll also answer all of your questions, from “What is tree topping?” to “Why do trees shed bark?”

To learn more or book a service with Georgia Tree Company, call 404-990-0010 today!

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