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To average folks, tree pruning seems straightforward. Just chop off a bit at the ends until you get a smaller tree. Expert tree service companies know that this isn’t true. There are acceptable and unacceptable methods of tree pruning that can determine the health, beauty, and efficacy of the pruning process. Here are two you need to know about before hiring a tree pruning service.

Tree Topping vs. Crown Reduction

What Is Tree Topping?

Also known as hat-racking, rounding over, heading, or tipping, tree topping techniques involve removing the large branches from the treetop and leaving only lateral branches and stumps on the tree.

Is Topping Trees Good or Bad?

Unfortunately, tree topping is not really an advisable option for controlling the tree size. As a matter of fact, professional arborists agree that topping should never be utilized as a primary pruning method. It should only be used if you are planning to remove an unwanted tree.

Effects of Tree Topping

Since the tree is left with lateral branches and stubs that are still too small to take the role of producing and delivering food throughout the entire tree, topping provides numerous problems to the tree. Besides reducing the tree’s energy-producing capacity, it also triggers the regrowth of unattractive and vertical branches, which will also disfigure the tree permanently with ugly water sprouts and branches.

The branch wounds sustained by the tree are slow to heal, making the tree susceptible to fungal decay and insect attack. And since topping leaves the tree exposed without its branches and foliage, it can also cause severe bark damage.

Benefits Of Topping Trees

Topping trees comes in handy in situations in which a tree has undergone severe damage from a natural disaster. Often times in such scenarios, tree topping may be your only alternative for repairing the tree. In other cases, however, it is important to note that the costs that come with tree topping exceed the benefits. Tree topping can shock a tree, leaving it unable to nourish itself. This can lead to disease and even abrupt tree death. Tree topping can also create risky situations for its surroundings, so it is in your best interest to avoid tree topping when possible.

Crown Reduction

What Is Crown Reduction?

Crown reduction is one of the most common methods that arborists use to control the size of the tree and keep its shape perfectly. It’s also more ideal to use compared to tree topping. This method involves reducing the foliage of the tree while still preserving the general structure of the crown; doing this successfully trims the overall shape of the tree and controls its size. In a general sense, limbs that are located on the uppermost portion of the tree canopy are cut shorter in order to decrease the tree’s height. However, they are only removed to the next lateral growth to be able to ensure that they heal faster and grow again properly.

It is highly suggested that only 20% or lesser of the tree’s canopy should be cut at once in order to avoid the tree from suffering.

Effects of Crown Reduction

Unlike tree topping, the effects of crown reduction on trees are not harmful. Since the trees were properly trimmed and dying limbs or branches suffering from pests or diseases are eliminated, their health is greatly improved. Additionally, crown reduction provides satisfying results where aesthetics are concerned.

Moreover, trimming your trees properly can also increase the production of fruit-bearing trees and ensure better quality fruits. Crown reduction also helps improve sun exposure and air circulation on trees.

Between crown reduction and tree topping, the former is undoubtedly the best choice that you should follow when dealing with big trees. Crown reduction does not just keep the tree’s size balance; it also preserves the plant’s natural shape while also ensuring good tree health. Tree topping, on the other hand, is a harmful procedure. It may give you the result that you want but only for a short time; not to mention that it will even bring you more trouble in the future.

Nationwide Tree Service only uses crown reduction when pruning your trees. By cutting only at the point of juncture from a smaller lateral branch, we can keep the natural growth of your tree intact. The tree will be smaller, producing the same end result, but there will be less damage to your tree.

You can trust Nationwide Tree Service to prune your tree safely and effectively. Contact us for a tree pruning appointment today.