Is It Safe To Top My Tree?


Driving around Athens, its easy to spot the trees that power companies have hacked off to prevent them getting in the electrical wires. Even some, crepe myrtles being the most picked to prune back the top so heavily it looks as if it was just chopped completely. Topping a tree might be a quick fix but in reality it will eventually result in the trees death, depending on how much was removed.

Why shouldn’t I top my trees?

  • Tree topping leads to major stress for the tree in Athens, Ga. When you remove all the leaves, you are removing its nutrient source, leading to starvation of the tree, triggering random responses.

  • The openings from the cuts leave the tree susceptible to pests and other diseases to come in and feed on the tree. At this point, the tree will be under such stress it will not be able to defend it self from such attacks.

  • Topping leads to response growth, which is when you take the majority of the limbs off the top of the tree and the tree responds by shooting out numerous buds that are very weak in nature and aesthetically unappealing. (picture shown below)

  • Topping might be a quick fix but will cost much more to maintain later on down the road due to increased pruning costs. The tree will also be very weak and unstable until it its fully healed. Depending on what lies beneath the tree, this can be a potential liability to you or the neighbors around you, if that tree was to fall.

  • It is shown that well maintained lawn and landscape increases property value anywhere from 16-25%. By topping the tree and not taking the proper pruning measures needed to ensure the health of your trees, you are cutting down on your property value as well.


What alternatives do I have?

The best thing to do is hire a certified Arborist to come out to your property and assess your trees health. We offer free estimates and routine maintenance plans for your landscape in Athens, Ga. It is important while shopping for estimates to keep in mind that having insurance and workers compensation is necessary for you to not be liable for any damages. A certified arborist will also be able to properly identify and diagnose trees with certain diseases or downfalls. Call us today for a free estimate on your trees!

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North American Tree Service