For years, tree topping was considered the easiest and cheapest way to make mature trees safer and reduce their size. Today, tree researchers have proven that both of these assumptions are false. Many of these trees eventually die as a result of the damage. Others eventually become unsafe, leading to dangerous limb breakage or whole tree failure years after the topping was done.
The Tree Care Industry Association and the American National Standards Institute A300 pruning standards consider topping to be an unacceptable pruning practice.
•leaves large exposed wounds, which can pre-dispose the tree to infestation or other future health problems;
•ruins tree structure;
removes too much foliage, disrupting the tree’s energy storage;
•stimulates vigorous new growth, which is prone to breakage;
•increases tree maintenance costs; and,
•destroys the tree’s appearance and value.
What is the alternative?
Tree care companies and tree services have the ability to make your tree look more attractive, safer and, yes, even somewhat smaller using appropriate corrective pruning in accordance with ANSI A300 standards.
What can you do?
Ask your tree service to state on a written proposal that all work done according to ANSI A300 standards. Specifications are details that tell you exactly what work the tree company plans to do so that there are no misunderstandings.
Contact your utility forester to learn more.