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Don't Top Your Trees!

Diagram comparing topped trees to pruned trees.A lot of tree pruning gets done during the winter months since it is easier to get the job done when the leaves are out of the way. Just be sure that you remove the branches correctly - you don't want to top your tree. Here's why:

  1. The wounds created by topping do not heal and eventually decay enters the tree.
  2. A topped branch will either die, or produce multiple sprouts which quickly grow back thicker and weaker than the original branches. 
  3. When a large portion of the crown is removed a like portion of the roots will die.
  4. Topped trees eventually become hazardous.
  5. Eventually more money will need to be spent either to re-prune the tree that has again become too large, or to remove it.
  6. It’s ugly.

For information on correct branch removal, see the leaflet on tree pruning:

Pruning Trees, Flushcuts and Wound Dressing