Trees are an integral part of owning property and the beautification of your home. Not only do they provide natural shade from the sun, but they also enhance the aesthetic of the property as a whole when properly manicured and maintained. There are many ways to maintain trees on your property, but not all of them are helpful or healthy. One such practice, called tree-topping, is often performed by some arborists when a property owner believes a tree has become too tall or large. To reduce the tree’s size, arborists cut all the main branches down to short stubs and shorten the top of the tree. However, this process of tree-topping has the potential to cost you more money in the future. Here are some research based reasons why:

Topping has the potential to remove between 50-100% of a tree’s leaf bearing upper branches. With their leaves gone, topped trees strain to use photosynthesis to produce food. When trees are unable to feed themselves, many trees go into survival mode and start pushing out new buds to regrow their leaves as quickly as possible. This burns up their reserves of nutrients stored in the trunk, and if those reserves are not sufficient, the tree may start to die and decay.

Proper pruning cuts made by a professional arborist are made just past the collar of the tree where it connects to the trunk. Trees can recover from those wounds if the wound is not too large and the tree is healthy. Lateral branch cuts used in tree-topping create stubby wounds that the tree may not be able to heal, leaving the exposed tree cells to wither and decay. If a tree has multiple wounds of this type, its natural defenses will not be able to cope, and the decay will spread throughout the entire tree.

Sun Damage
When the mantle of leaves has been removed, the branches and trunk of the tree are exposed to significantly higher levels of heat and UV radiation. This heat and radiation damage the plant cells within the branch causing cracking, cankers, bark splitting, or limb death.

The facts are clear: tree-topping can severely damage or kill the trees on your property. It is an unsafe practice that can lead to expensive damage to your home or property, and can cost you significantly more money for maintenance or removal in the long-term. If you are in the Auckland or North Shore area and have trees in need of maintenance on your property, consider A1SureServices for all your arborist, tree-cutting, pruning, and firewood needs. They are consummate professionals with the experience and knowledge to help you maintain your beautiful trees for years to come.