The benefits of proper Tree Pruning
Reduced potential for storm damage trees and tree disease by increasing the flow of air through the canopy of the tree.
Clearing branches from buildings, roofs, driveways, or roadways.
Increasing the health of the tree by removing dead tree branches.
Establish, improve, or restore the branch and tree structure.
Improving the beauty and longevity of the tree in your landscape.
When you have a declining, mature tree on your property it hurts to consider removing the tree. Trees are beautiful and valuable assets to our landscapes, but there are instances when tree removal is necessary. Sometimes the hazards present in the tree outweigh the benefits of the tree.
Topping is the indiscriminate cutting of tree branches to stubs or to lateral branches that are not large enough to assume the terminal role. Other names for topping include "heading," "tipping," "hat-racking," and "rounding over."
Topping is often used to reduce the size of a tree. A homeowner may feel that a tree has become too large for his or her property, or that tall trees may pose an unacceptable risk. Topping, however, is not a viable method of height reduction and certainly does not reduce future risk. In fact, topping will increase risk in the long term.
Alternatives to Topping
Sometimes a tree must be reduced in height or spread, such as for providing utility line clearance. There are recommended techniques for doing so. Small branches should be removed back to their point of origin. If a larger limb must be shortened, it should be pruned back to a lateral branch that is large enough (at least one-third the diameter of the limb being removed) to assume the terminal role. This method of branch reduction helps to preserve the natural form of the tree. However, if large cuts are involved, the tree may not be able to close over and compartmentalize the wounds. Sometimes the best solution is to remove the tree and replace it with a species that is more appropriate for the site.