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What is Tree Topping?

13 APR 2023

What is Tree Topping?

Trees provide a range of benefits for your home and the ecosystem. With that in mind, routine care is critical to enhancing structural integrity and healthy growth throughout the year. The most common and effective maintenance task is pruning, which a professional tree care company should handle. Although many people prefer tackling landscaping projects alone, using the wrong technique or excessive pruning can kill trees.

At Sesmas Tree Service, we offer arborist services to ensure your trees receive the proper trimming and pruning. Leverage our extensive industry knowledge of tree care techniques for deciduous, fruit, coniferous, hedge, palm, and shrub species. We can also inspect and address any signs of infection or infestation affecting your trees’ well-being.

Tree Topping

Tree topping, or heading, is when too many healthy canopy branches are cut. Many areas across the United States prohibit this tree-killing practice, requiring tree service providers to register with their respective cities. While the authorities have taken measures to curb tree heading, DIYers can accidentally prune excess healthy limbs. You can avoid such scenarios by hiring a professional tree care company to handle pruning and maintenance.

Why Is Tree Topping Bad for Trees?

Property owners are under the false notion that cutting back much foliage-producing branches encourages fruit and leaf production, but it doesn’t! Tree topping has the opposite effect: it removes leaves, increases the risk of sun scald, creates a pathway for pathogens and pests, and increases susceptibility to wood rot and fungi.

Although some trees can recover from excessive pruning, most cannot. Different trees require varying pruning techniques to encourage healthy fruit and leaf production. Safe alternatives to tree topping include spiral thinning and canopy pruning, which can be performed by a tree care company safely.

How Much Should You Prune Your Trees?

If you prefer a more hands-on approach to tree care, don’t prune over 15% of your mature trees’ canopy and 10% of your young trees. The primary goal of pruning is to eliminate diseased, dying, or dead branches that threaten the health and structural integrity of the tree. Some signs of deterioration are unperceivable by inexperienced individuals, and that’s why pruning should be left to professional tree service.

The Best Time to Prune Trees

 Tree pruning can leave severe injuries on the tree, creating a pathway for insects, fungi, parasites, and diseases. If you have a pruning project lined up, consider rescheduling it to winter when your trees are dormant. The cold temperatures minimize the damage because the tree is inactive, compared to warmer weather like spring and summer.

Cutting damaged limbs in the winter gives the trees time to heal and encourages healthy growth. You can expect optimal leaf and fruit production in the spring. Even after pruning in the dormant season, ensure a trusted tree care company inspects your trees regularly to mitigate infestations, diseases, or blight. Contact us at Sesmas Tree Service for pruning and maintenance tips. Please schedule a consultation today with our representatives to enjoy top-notch tree services at competitive rates.