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Healthy trees are an asset. They provide cooling shade, habitat for birds, and can increase the value of your property. This information is provided to help you care for the trees around your residence.
There are some very good things you can do to promote healthy, long-lived trees. And there are a number of things you will want to avoid. If in doubt, call Choice Tree Service for some helpful Q&A.
Topping…Don’t Do It!
Topping or stubbing are examples of removing large branches from mature trees. A topped tree is a disfigured tree and although it was intended to help the tree, the opposite is the result.
When a large amount of a tree’s canopy (umbrella) is removed, the crown to root ratio is imbalanced and this adversely affects the tree’s nutrition. It also exposes the tree to the sun which can result in scalding. Topped trees develop multiple branches or suckers, at or near the pruning cut. These branches generally are weakly attached and are prone to failure.
A topped tree is also vulnerable to disease as the stubs have a difficult time forming protective callus and this invites invasion of fungi and insects. The location of the topping cuts may also prevent the tree’s natural defense system from doing its job.
Finally, topping trees represents an unwarranted expense. A topped tree will often grow back to its original height quickly, and it will be more dense than one that has been pruned correctly. Other costs may be hidden, such as loss of property value that a well-maintained tree will encourage. There is also increased hazard from branches that have weakened as a result of the topping.
Lawn mowers and string trimmers hitting the bark of a tree can severely damage the inner bark and cambium near the soil line. This damage invites insects and fungi infestation. The best advice is to remove sod from around the base of the tree and replace with mulch.