Added: Tani Roller - Date: 26.03.2022 19:05 - Views: 19408 - Clicks: 6552
Even though certain death is imminent trees are still topped indescriminetly. Also known as pollarding, stubbing, dehorning, heading and several other terms, it has risen to crisis proportions nationally over the last decade. Topping is considered the most harmful tree pruning practice known. Yet despite more than 20 years of spoken and written information, it remains a common practice.
According to The International Society of Arboriculture, the most common reason given for topping is to reduce the size of a tree, either because it has become too large for the property or a perception that it may pose a hazard. Ironically, topping is not a viable solution to reducing size or hazard. As leaves are the food source for any tree, the absence of this food supply can temporarily starve the tree. As a defensive action, the starving tree responds by rapidly sending out multiple shoots from latent buds below each cut.
Moreover, if the tree does not have sufficient stored energy reserves to respond in this way, it will seriously harm the tree, even leading to its premature demise.
In some species these new shoots can grow up to 20 feet in one year. It only takes up to a few years for that to happen. The new growth that rapidly ascends from latent buds just below each cut is only anchored in the outermost layers of the parent branch. These weak attachments will never have the structural integrity of the original branch and can break off easily, even years later when they are large and heavy. The exposed wood creates decay, entry points and pathways for pests, diseases and destructive organisms to move into and through the branches.
Recall that as a tree is topped, it rapidly grows back, although with thinner, weaker branching. Topping to reduce size is a vicious cycle. Each cut sprouts multiple new branches and the conditions become exponentially problematic with each cycle.
Eventually, when the tree dies because of the effects of the cumulative stress and damage, even more money will likely be spent to remove it. When the occasion arises and it becomes necessary to modify the height or spread of a tree, consult or hire a professional arborist. An arborist will determine the type of pruning that is necessary to maintain or improve the health, appearance and safety of your trees.
Off camera, Joe dedicates his time to promoting sustainability through his popular books, blog, podcast series, and nationally syndicated newspaper columns. Follow Joe on Twitter. So that means winter. But do keep it watered until then.
Establishment is the most important thing you can do right now. It will need a lot of water through the hot months and well into fall Ron. Joe, we live on the Texas coast and the house we bought has 3 sweet gum trees that are all well over ft high. I just had tree trimmers come cut them below the rotton spots so now they are About 50 to 75 ft high.
Will they grow new limbs again? Hated to cut but scared of storms bringing down through roof. Hi Cynthia. Sweet gums can be scary because their form is tall and slender. I can see how you would be intimidated by the fact they could come down in a storm. I am surrounded by them on my home landscape and I have to admit, I find myself thinking the same thing.
However, cutting them back will likely produce new growth, but this new growth will be far weaker than the original wood. You are more likely to have future loss of limbs to storm damage since the new growth will not be nearly as strong as the original form. The best I can say is keep you eye on what develops and hope for the best. Last year my husband and I moved it away from the house because we were extending our deck. Our neighbors decided that the branches were hanging into their yard, so they cut back the branches in several places.
They cut in the middle of the branch. Should we cut these branches back to the base of the tree or leave it. Will it grow from where they cut it? The tree also needs pruning because it looks very sparse. Hi Cheryl. Branches will sprout new growth around the closest dormant leaf buds to the cut. However, this may be several inches or more below the cut. The remaining stub will likely die.
Best to make corrective pruning and shaping in the winter when you can see the overall structure and the tree is dormant. But if you want to promote new growth and have your tree fill out, follow branches back from their tip until you get to a point where you see leaf buds on both sides of the branch. You could make these cuts now and new growth will emerge and should harden off before it gets cold again. The closer you get to fall, the more chance you have of new growth dying back from cold weather. The next best time to make these cuts is late winter, or early spring.
Hi, Joe! I love your site and appreciate your sage advice to the folks with questions. Two years ago, my husband and I moved to a home in Alpine, CA, a small hillside community in East San Diego County altitude of 1, feet above sea level. We have five healthy pine trees standing approximately 40 feet high that frame the street front and side of our home.
Being good neighbors, we want to preserve the trees and neighborly peace. Thank you! Oh noooo. We get a lot of rain and tornados as well as straight line winds here. I left one oak because the man I hired said he could top it and make it short enough that it would miss the house and my son s room if it fell. It does lean about 10 degrees that way. It has filled out very nicely and I have planted smaller trees and shrubs under and around it.
Now what?? As soon as the ground dries up enough I have no choice but to have him return and remove my tree. Thank you for enlightening me. Joe, We put in 10ft. Black cherry two years ago, sunny spot, no competing large trees. It is growing well and looks very healthy. The problem is HOW it is growing. The few lower branches are doing fine, but the main stem is bare, no branches for about five feet up. There are only three other branches about midway down and they are doing fine. One cherry this year. Lol I read that it takes about five years for these trees to really begin to produce.
Should I prune back the lower branches in the fall, now, at all? I would love to see some new branch growth on the upper half. Thank you. This sounds like the tree is dead above the active growth. One thing you can do is get high up in the tree if possible and cut away a branch to inspect the interior of the limb. You could also simply use your fingernail to scrape away a small layer of bark to see if you see green beneath.
If not, that portion of the tree is likely Seeking younger slender high maintenance and Atlanta. If you see this, keep working your way down and do more of this same inspection. If so, you can cut it back all the way to active growth and see if it will re-sprout below that and send up fresh new growth. Not sure what would have killed it back but it can be a of reasons.
Hi Joe, I have a huge wide leaf maple tree in my front yard which I would like to reduce in size by at least one third. I have a friend that used to cut his wide leave maple down to a 15 foot stump every fall. How much can I safely take off this massive tree, and what time of year should I do it? Hi Lee. The general rule when pruning is to never remove more than a third of the total growth at any one time. Now is the next best time so new growth can form and harden off before cold weather hits. Considering you describe this tree as massive, I would def.
Hi Joe! My question does not involve topping but i believe it may be Seeking younger slender high maintenance and Atlanta. I have a huge maple tree in my front yard which I had to have pruned because of neighbor complaints I live in a city. In the last couple weeks my concern has been growing as the tree has failed to produce any leaves when everything else around me is green.
My question, is it possible that the tree may be stunted or do you think the individual that pruned it may have killed it completely? Thank you in advance! If so, this can result in delay as the tree responds. Joe, I have a huge magnolia tree that is roughly 50 years old. I had an arborist come out and trim some of the branches in the girth of the tree, as well as some upper limbs that were broken during an ice storm about 4 years ago.
It also blooms lovely fragrant flowers by the dozens. But my problem now is that it is TOO healthy, is roughly feet high and has taken over my front yard. It also sheds leaves year-round, making grass mowing and yard work more difficult. I would like to bring it down to about 50 feet, and also trim the girth of the tree proportionately.
Will that kill the tree? Well it sounds like this is one tough magnolia! Even though I would have advised against doing so as it looks like your arborist didthe tree responded beautifully. Have you consulted the arborist again? Showing the of this tree after cutting as you have may change his mind.Seeking younger slender high maintenance and Atlanta
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Tree Topping – What You Don’t Know is Killing Your Trees