Stop topping trees
November 14, 2010
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 http://www.treesaregood.org. 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.
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