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.

Did You Know:

  • Every state has an official State Tree. Virginia adopted the flowering dogwood Cornaceae Cornus florida as the State Tree on February 24, 1956.  The dogwood is well distributed throughout the...

  • One large tree can provide a supply of oxygen for two people.

  • In one day, one large tree can lift up to 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air.

  • Trees are the largest living organisms on earth: some coastal redwoods are more than 360 feet tall.

  • A mature tree removes almost 70 times more pollution than a newly planted tree.

  • Most tree roots are in the top 12 inches of soil.

  • Most trees do not have a tap root.

  • Trees are some of the oldest living organisms on earth: some bristle-cone pines are thought to be more than 5000 years old.

  • Well-maintained trees and shrubs can increase property value by up to 14%.

  • Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and save 20-50 percent in heating energy.

  • A birdhouse hung on a young tree branch, does not move up the tree as the tree grows.

Contact Trees Virginia

(434) 295 6401

900 Natural Resources Drive, Ste 800
Charlottesville, VA 22903

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Upcoming Events

Waynesboro Tree Health Care Workshop
09-14-2018 8:00 am
Category:  Workshops

Our Partners

American Grove     Virginia Department of Forestry     Mid-Atlantic Chapter International Society of Arboriculture