The request to top trees comes into our office an awful lot. As common a request as it is, there can be many repercussions from this type of tree work. I feel a duty to inform our customers on what these might be, for we at Grasshopper Tree Services feel that topping trees might not always be the best thing for them. It’s important to remember that trees are living organisms and as much as people like to control them, they will grow by their own rules.
Firstly, this type of tree work puts a lot of stress on a tree’s health. By removing most of the crown, the tree loses its leaves and therefore its ability to create sufficient energy to thrive in. Starving a tree of its energy forces it into survival mode. Without the leaves the tree must deplete any energy reserves by pushing out rapid new growth to keep energy cycles running. If those reserves aren’t available, the threat of death is ever closer.
The new growth that appears on topped trees is much different than that on a healthy tree. If a tree grows without interference, their branches have time to adapt and strengthen in their environment. This is largely what gives trees their unique appearance. When new growth or suckers grow up from a large topping cut, they are weakly attached and grow up to fast and to high. Have a look when you’re out walking next time, and you’ll be able to spot a tree that has been topped in the past. They’ll be the ones with many long straight unnatural looking branches arising from low one point on the trunk.
The large topping cuts themselves pose their own problems. One of tree’s incredible abilities is closing over cuts or wounds caused naturally or by a chainsaw. However, a tree needs energy to perform this natural feat, energy it may no longer have. Also, the cut usually being so large and severe means there is no hope of it ever closing over properly. I should add that a tree closing over a wound is comparable to us applying a plaster to a cut-it’s a form of defence. With large open wounds and little chance of them healing, a tree is at considerable risk of attracting disease and insects.
Topping may seem like a cheap option in the short term, but down the line the cost of maintaining them may surprise you. After a few years they’ll likely need corrective pruning, storm damage repair or indeed removal if it has died. Property value can also be adversely affected too. Prized and beautiful trees are known to increase property value but a topped tree can mar the landscape or it’s considered an impending expense.
Perhaps the most effective solution for you is removing a tree entirely if it’s out of place or at risk in your landscape. That way, a new tree can be planted in its place, one that you’ll cherish and enjoy for years to come.
If you require tree topping or any other tree surgery service get in touch with Grasshopper Landscape Maintenance Tree Surgery department today. Call us now 01 867 3023