Trees are a great addition to any property, providing shade, beauty, and a home for local wildlife. But trees can also be hazardous if improperly maintained. One controversial practice that is often used to reduce the risk of danger posed by trees is tree topping, or the removal of large branches and the tops of certain trees. Let’s look at the pros and cons of this practice to help you decide if it is right for your property.
The Pros of Tree Topping
Tree topping can be a useful technique in certain situations. When done correctly, it can reduce potential risks such as falling branches or weakened tree trunks due to heavy loads. It can also help improve light penetration through the canopy, which in turn can benefit nearby plants and grasses that require more sunlight than what was previously available beneath the tree’s dense foliage. In some cases, tree topping may even help control insect infestations by removing weakened or damaged branches that could be harboring pests.
The Cons of Tree Topping
Unfortunately, there are also several downsides to tree topping—including potential damage to the health of your trees. For example, topping removes large parts of the crown (top) which can cause an imbalance in growth hormones located within the plant tissue and lead to long-term issues such as decay or poor branch structure. The cuts created by topping also make trees more susceptible to disease and pests as well as weather-related damage since they force new growth from larger wounds instead of smaller ones that heal quicker with less stress on the tree. Finally, because it results in an unnatural appearance with bare limbs sticking out from various angles, tree topping may actually decrease your property value instead of increasing it like some people assume it would do.
Tree topping should only be considered after looking at all available options; once you have weighed both sides carefully and determined that it is necessary for safety reasons or will benefit nearby plants in some way then you should proceed with caution when performing this task. If done incorrectly or excessively this practice can cause long-term damage so always consult a professional arborist if unsure about how to properly top a tree on your property!