The act of topping, also known as hat-racking or tipping, is a process that aims to shorten the height of a tree by cutting down the entire top. While certified arborists have provided proof of the negatives surrounding tree topping, many Americans are still guilty of the practice. Additionally, many tree trimming experts still complete this task, whether through ignorance or laziness. It’s important to find a quality provider of tree care methods that aim to keep your property happy and healthy. Patrick Musser Tree Service is here to do just that! We are Montgomery County’s tree service experts, available 24/7 for emergency tree removals and more. Today, we’ll take a closer look at topping and why it is essential to reach out to a proven expert for tree pruning services. If your trees are in need of attention, be sure to contact our professionals today!

Creating a Problem

The branches of your tree are constantly growing and reaching out for sunshine. Proper pruning consists of cutting branches back to a lateral branch that is similar in size while still being large enough to outgrow the existing branches below. When cut, the next branch will take the terminal role and begin growing and expanding. Topping is the simple process of cutting a terminal shoot back to a point where lateral branches cannot take over for the branch. Once this is done, numerous shoots will begin to fight for dominance, creating a number of wavy branches that can detract from the tree’s beauty. Proper pruning can be effective for maintaining a tree’s aesthetic value as well as its overall health. When done incorrectly, the health hazards are numerous.

Weakened Limbs

After your tree is topped, a number of epicormic (growing from a dormant bud) shoots will begin to grow from the trunk and become numerous weak branches. Without a parent branch, these shoots will have a very weak attachment, creating hazards for both the tree and property inhabitants. Once stormy weather comes in, your tree is at risk for numerous damages.

Too Much Growth

One ironic aspect of tree pruning that many people fail to realize is that topping is not a suitable method for slowing down the spread and height of the tree. While the thought that cutting down past a safe terminal point is effective for keeping the branch from expanding, the tree will actually begin to spread out in every direction as a reaction to being damaged. This expansion is done to heal and recover from such a loss, resulting in a plant that may actually be taller than before. The difference now, however, is that the tree is topped with taller, weaker branches that are much more random in their growths.

The act of tree topping is one that is commonly done throughout our country despite what the facts prove. From unsightly appearances to serious health issues, your trees can suffer immensely when proper pruning techniques aren’t followed. Next time, we’ll look at a few more damages that tree topping can bring on, including tree death. Patrick Musser Tree Service is your source for the best lawn and plant care in Maryland. We are Montgomery County’s tree service experts, and we’re ready to take on your project. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your property inspection!