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Topless Trees are Indecent!

Topless trees are indecent!  I saw this bumper sticker the other day and would love to find these stickers and give one to everyone I know.

No Tree Topping!

In case you didn’t already know, topping trees is a detrimental practice that should almost never be done. I can’t think of a reason to inflict serious wounds to a tree – I mean, what did the tree ever do to you!?  It is done fairly regularly by arborists working for utility companies to the canopy of trees near power lines. In many cases, this can be easily prevented – do not plant a fast growing large lawn tree that will get 50+ feet under powerlines to begin with! If a large lawn tree is already established underneath the power lines,  it will be safer and less costly in the long run to remove and replace it with a tree better suited for the location.

Topped Trees:(

The damage done by large cuts, especially on the end of limbs will cause structural failures in the future. which can be extremely dangerous.  Trees are incapable of closing off large wounds in most situations without pathogens getting in and taking hold.  The tree, or at least the damaged portion begins to rot from the inside and will do so until it dies.  That portion of the tree then becomes weak and can break off from the tree, damaging property or injuring those underneath.

Tree Topping Before + After

Anatomy of a topped tree

Most of the time, where the large limbs were topped, multiple limbs sprout and grow vigorously without the necessary spacing or growth angle that is needed for structural strength.  Combine this with the rotting base from which it grows, and eventually this will lead to the trees losing large sections during storms or other adverse conditions.

Rapid growth after topping - ugly, isn't it?!

Let me offer an alternative to topping:

Pollarding.  Stay tuned….

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