Myth #1: Topping invigorates a tree.
Truth: Topping immediately decreases the health of a tree and sends it on a downward spiral.
1. Decay starts when a tree is topped. Even strongly angled cuts never close completely.
2. Sunscald, the effect of prolonged bright sun heating a tree’s trunk after it has been topped, kills tissue just below the bark directly or when freezing temperatures follow, causing that portion of the trunk to die.
3. Food production loss from the absence of its crown greatly alters a tree’s ability to channel nourishment to the woody parts – the stem and root system.
4. Excess resprouting occurs as the result of loss of branches, the tree forming very thick and ugly sprouting almost overnight.
5. Disease and insect attack follows on the heels of resprouting, sunscald and food production loss as a tree’s physiological system is altered and disease resistance lowered.
6. Root weakening and decay result from the loss of food resources once produced in the part of the crown removed.
7. Shortened life span or death of a tree is the eventual result of topping. Some trees will not tolerate topping and may quickly die. All other survivors will have reduced life spans.