Overzealous and poor tree pruning techniques like tree topping can severely damage a tree, negatively affecting its health. Topping is an unethical pruning technique that should never be used, as it indiscriminately cuts limbs, leaving the tree susceptible to problems like:
- Pest infestations
If your tree was topped by an unscrupulous or inexperienced pruner with the goal to reduce its crown size, you will be understandably upset. Can your tree be saved?
The good news is that yes, topped trees can be saved with care and patience.
Contact An ISA-Certified Arborist
If your tree has been topped, your first step should be contacting an ISA-certified arborist like those at Hansen’s Tree Service. ISA-certified arborists are trained and certified by the International Society of Arboriculture to provide safe and scientifically-proven tree care. They will inspect your topped tree and provide a recommended plan of care.
When restoring a tree that has been topped, you must be patient. It can take an upward of six years for your tree to get back to normal. In that time, your arborist will perform any needed maintenance as per the recommended care plan developed based on the condition of the tree.
Let The Tree Replace Lost Branches
A topped tree needs to replace lost branches to get back to normal. Letting the tree replace lost branches will help it grow a new crown and restore energy reserves. In that time, your arborist will inspect the tree and selectively prune weak growth that is susceptible to breakage. This restoration pruning encourages strong growth.
Replace, If Needed
If you choose, you can simply remove the tree and replace it—especially if your arborist determines extensive damage. This choice is ultimately up to you.