They’re everywhere; outgrown, out of shape trees.
Across the block, in your neighbor’s garden and in your own backyard.
And what do we—as homeowners—usually tend to do with these outgrown, out of shape trees?
Simple, we top them!
Tree topping is also a common practice in cases where a tree is considered potentially hazardous for a property and people living inside that property.
Sporting a new, nice and clean haircut, the topped tree is back to being the slimmest, smartest kid in the block.
At least that is what we think. However, the reality is quite different to that.
Ironically, tree topping makes outgrowth a more frequent problem than ever before and instead of making the tree less hazardous, it makes it even more hazardous. Not to mention the fact tree topping can sometimes also kill trees.
It’s a tree crime, and one which almost every one of us is guilty of being involved in.
How tree topping makes the problem of outgrowth worse?
When you chop off the crown of a tree, you’re basically shutting down the food factories that provide tree with its food – the leaves.
As a defensive action, the tree’s survival mechanism kicks in and it rapidly sends out multiple shoots from the latent buds located below each cut. These new shoots can rapidly grow up to 20 feet in height within a space of a year, and the problem which looked to have resolved, becomes worse.
With every cut, more shoots are sent out and the cycle becomes more and more vicious.
And it’s not just that…
The new growths don’t have the structural integrity that the original crown had, because rather than growing through a natural process, they’re the product of an emergency response mechanism.
These new branches are thinner and weaker and can easily break off even when they’ve grown into mature, heavy branches. This makes them potentially hazardous.
As for the claim tree topping can kill trees, that too is true. To make new leaves grow, trees require energy. And if they’re short of energy, they cannot respond to topping. If there is not sufficient reproduction of new shoots, it can lead to premature demise of the tree.
A word of advice
So what can homeowners do to tackle the problem of outgrown, disfigured trees?
The solution still very much lies in pruning, but instead of topping, a safer pruning practice is needed. Consulting an arborist can help you in determining the right type of pruning needed for your tree which would help improve its appearance, health and safety.
Looking for an arborist in Lewisville?
Trees Inc. of Denton can help.
We’re a leading tree service company in Lewisville, serving the area for more than 35 years. We employ certified arborist that can help you with your tree health questions and can perform tree trimming and pruning services for you.
Reach out to schedule a consultation or appointment.
A BONUS read: 5 Common Types of Tree Diseases