DON’T Make This Tree Pruning Mistake

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The ever-famous Whomping Willow from Harry Potter
The ever-famous Whomping Willow from Harry Potter

Have you ever driven down the street and seen a tree that looks more like the  “Whomping Willow” than “The Giving Tree”?

Sorry to inform you, it’s not a sad attempt to recreate a beloved fictional tree. What you see is actually a pruning practice often referred to as “tree topping” — and it is very harmful to trees.

What exactly is tree topping and why is it bad?

Topping, heading, tipping or rounding-over all refer to the practice of cutting off branches or trunks without consideration, leaving stubs where branches once grew.  


Not only is this practice unsightly, but it seriously stresses the tree, putting it at risk for disease and pests shortening its life. While a healthy tree is beneficial, a weak topped tree becomes a liability. Weakened branches are more likely to fall and cause damage, under the responsibility of the property owner.


Despite all of the facts pointing at the harmful effects of tree topping, many companies still rely on this method. To protect your trees, do your research. If a company advertises that they “top,” do not hire them. It means they don’t understand how to properly prune.

Want to learn more about how to protect your trees? Visit our website.