LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Tree topping is destructive
September 9, 2009 · Updated 8:38 AM
To the editor:
There is a tragic misunderstanding regarding the practice of tree topping.
Tree topping is an expensive, destructive and dangerous practice.
Conifers grow from the top up. Top a conifer and you are killing the tree either outright or by means of a slow decline. The few that survive become top-heavy specimens and an extreme hazard for you, your neighbors and the general public.
Many deciduous trees will grow back after topping and will do so quickly.
The resulting growth will replace the tree’s former strong structure with masses of scraggly, unsightly growth that within a few years will reach and frequently surpass the former height of the tree. Tree topping is a practice that is only carried out by uneducated or greedy arborists who benefit from the constant need to re-top the tree.
Don’t delude yourself into thinking that you are saving a tree by topping it. Topping trees only selfishly destroys gorgeous trees, some of which have the potential to live for hundreds of years and be enjoyed by generations of people, because you want your view today.
Large trees provide shade, help reduce electricity costs, keep our environment cooler, are invaluable for the wildlife habitat and play a critical role in keeping our air clean. It is the choice of the individual landowner, not the city or a few selfish individuals, to decide if they want to plant a shade tree that will benefit people and the environment for generations to come.
If your view is paramount to you, plant short tree species, and if you already have large trees growing on your property, contact Plant Amnesty for a referral to a certified arborist that can help you find an alternative to destroying the beautiful trees that are also a critical part of your view.