4 Reasons Not to Top Your Tree

Environmental Blog

The disturbing practice of topping trees is fast becoming too common in many neighbourhoods and communities. Topping happens when the vertical stem and scaffold branches on trees are cut to stubs. Reasons for topping often include reducing the height and spread of a tree that interferes with utility lines or poses a safety hazard to adjacent structures. Topping is also referred to as dehorning, stubbing or heading. In the end, the trees are stripped of all pride and grace. This article explains why homeowners shouldn't consider topping when trees reach an unwanted height and offers a substitute to topping.

Reasons Not to Top

  1. Starvation. Trees need a substantial leaf surface area to produce food for growth and development. Topping eliminates a significant portion of the tree's food-making ability and exhausts the tree's stored food reserves.
  2. Shock. By eliminating the protective cover, the bark tissue of the tree is exposed to the strong rays of the sun. The ensuing scalding may result in the tree's death.
  3. Large wounds. The branch wounds resulting from topping are slow to heal, and thus increasingly prone to insect invasion and disease attacks. These invasions may spread to the tree trunk, eventually killing the tree.
  4. Rapid new growth. While topping eliminates majority of the buds that form the typical branch system, it also activates the regrowth of dense, ugly, upright branches just underneath the pruning cut. The regrowth is pretty vigorous although the tree will lack its former grace and character. This means you're likely to encounter similar height and spread problems in your yard quicker than expected which makes topping a never-ending, costly cycle.

Proper Pruning

If topping is advised against judging from the reasons listed above, what's the best possible alternative? Well, professional arborists apply proper pruning techniques during tree removal as opposed to topping. This explains why homeowners should always hire qualified arborists when they wish to reduce the size of trees in their yard or property.

Professional arborists often employ drop-crotching pruning technique as a substitute to topping practice. This is a form of thinning cut that cuts the size of the tree while safeguarding its natural shape. To drop-crotch, the arborist chooses and cuts higher branches back to laterals which measure at least one-third of the length of the scaffold branches being removed. Additionally, the branch collar is left unharmed to help avoid the entry of decay in the trunk. Normally, drop-crotching activates growth across the tree and prevents upright branch development.


25 April 2016

Energy efficiency in our school

It is important to let people know how much energy they are using with normal tasks around the school so they can make some sensible decisions about how they use appliances. We want to make sure that everyone at the school understands the focus on our usage and the effect that we can have on the environment, as well as the larger decision that the school is making such as motion-sensitive lights and replacing our energy-hogging older devices with new lower power using appliances. This blog talks about how to improve the energy efficiency of schools and will be useful for school administrators.