Tree topping is a practice that should be avoided when landscaping your yard or garden. The misguided activity is also referred to as heading, pollarding, stubbing, or dehorning. In fact, topping is a major threat to the urban forest as it shortens the lifespan of trees and creates hazards in heavily travelled areas.

Topping a Tree Leads to its Decline

If you do succeed in reducing a tree’s size through topping, you have killed the plant. You may have topped the tree to the point it cannot re-establish itself. In effect, then the tree is dying and will continue to decline over the years. Therefore, a topped tree has to be topped every few years before it is finally removed by Kent tree surgeons.

Regaining Lost Growth

Contrary to what some people believe, topping will not make a tree smaller or keep it that way. After a tree is topped, it grows back quickly in an attempt to replace the leaf area that is lost. A tree needs all its leaves so that it can produce food for the roots and trunk of the plant. Therefore, the growth rate does not slow until the tree reaches its prior size. This may take three or four years.

A Continual and Difficult Process

Each time a branch on the tree is cut, a number of long and thin shoots known as watersprouts surface to replace the branch. The new areas of growth must be cut and re-cut as well, which makes topping a continually difficult process.

Why Pruning Is Better

However, when a tree is properly pruned, it maintains its looks longer since pruning does not encourage an upsurge in growth. Instead, when a tree is pruned, the health of the tree improves, which also makes the plant more beautiful.

To keep your trees beautiful and looking their best, then it is best to schedule pruning on a regular basis. Make sure the tree surgeon is knowledgeable in this area and that he or she provides what is promised.


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