Thinking About Tree Topping To Reduce Leaf Shed? 3 Reasons Why It's Not A Good Idea

Blog

Have you had enough of raking up the thousands of leaves in your yard that pour down every fall season? Deciduous trees can be such a wonderful feature in a lawn, but cleaning up after them can be challenging. Many homeowners resort to topping the trees, or cutting the tops of the trees from the top down. This method is a fairly quick way to reduce the amount of shedding. However, it is not a good solution and could actually cause many problems. Here is what you need to know about tree topping:

Topping Does Not Reduce the Amount of Leaves

Contrary to popular belief, topping a tree does not reduce the amount of leaves that you will have to clean up. You will notice immediately after the tree is topped that there are significantly fewer leaves, but that only lasts a short time. Within a few months, the tree can sprout even more shoots that will result in more leaf growth. When trees are cut, they form new shoots as a defense mechanism to replace what was lost. You could end up with three or four times the amount of leaves you had before.

Topping Can Permanently Damage Your Tree

Serious damage can occur to a tree when it is topped. In addition to making the tree less attractive, you are also risking the health of the tree. Leaves are the way trees obtain their nutrition, and cutting off that support can result in a very weak or dead tree. It could also be more easily susceptible to disease. Cutting branches in the amount needed to top a tree leaves behind many wounds and nicks on the tree where fungus and other infestations can easily slip in and gradually cause the tree to rot from the inside out.

You Do Not Eliminate Falling Risks by Topping

If you are topping your tree to reduce the cleanup efforts after a storm in the event a tree falls down, you should know that topping the tree will not prevent this from happening. It could even make it more likely for the tree to fall. Trees grow in a uniform, balanced shape. Cutting away at the top could cause significant imbalance that promotes uneven weight distribution. Trees that are not completely balanced have a much higher risk of falling down during a heavy storm.

If you have a tree that you are just sick and tired of cleaning up after, you should consider speaking to an arborist or landscaping professional about your options. They know how to assess all tree varieties and can help you come up with a plan to turn the nuisance tree into something you can enjoy. There are even services that offer debris removal.

Share

30 January 2015

Home Repair Tips for the Novice

When I bought my first home, I was terribly inexperienced when it came to maintaining it. It seemed as if something was always broken. After spending a weekend battling with my oven, I decided that I enough was enough. I started reading everything I could about things related to the home. By the end of my research, I still could not fix my plumbing, but I could look knowledgeable as the plumber explained what was wrong. In an effort to help others avoid the tedious task of reading book after book about plumbing and appliance repairs, I started this blog. Hopefully, this information will save someone from a weekend spent wrestling with their own appliances.