Stop topping trees |

Stop topping trees

Dear Editor:

We have recently seen a horrible example of tree mutilations at the corner of Highway 82 and El Jebel Road in front of the commercial plaza. Large and medium-sized willow, elm, locust and aspen trees have been amputated in a practice called “topping.” Topping is bad for trees.

The public should realize topping is not proper pruning practice for many reasons. The International Society of Arboriculture declares that topping: 1) causes stress to trees by starving the tree of food-producing leaves, and requires much energy to regain lost growth; 2) opens large wounds which cannot be closed, allowing decay organisms to enter branches and cause rot; 3) creates very weak structural flaws by stimulating excess branching at the stub-cut site; and 4) makes trees ugly – they can never fully regain their natural form.

As professional/certified arborists, we ask that the public become aware of this destructive practice and not assume this example is correct or desirable.

A helpful resource regarding proper pruning is If your trees need help, consult a certified arborist (there are several in the valley). But please, do not top your trees!

Trees will outlive us all. Care for them lovingly.

Kim V. Bock, Tony Coia, Lisa DiNardo and Jason Jones

Roaring Fork Valley