“Trees are like kids, they’re supposed to grow!”

– Arizona Tree Trimming & Removal owner, Jesse Csincsak 

We hear pretty often from customers who don’t like the height of their trees and request that we “top” them. While this practice has been around for years, the reality is that it can cause more issues than it solves.

What Is Tree Topping?

Tree topping is just what the name implies – the indiscriminate cutting across the top of the tree. The top branches of the tree are cut horizontally, often resulting in a significant reduction in the height of the tree. Also known as topping, heading, tipping, or round racking is thought of as a quick and inexpensive way to reduce height.

Why Is It Problematic?

Tree topping can remove half or more of the tree’s leaf-bearing crown. Leaves are responsible for photosynthesis is the process used by plants to convert light energy into chemical energy that can be released to fuel the tree. When the leaves are removed, the tree loses the ability to photosynthesize and can become stressed. When stress occurs, there are two possible outcomes; either the tree will rapidly produce shoots to create new leaves, or if the tree does not have enough energy reserves to rapidly produce new leaves, it is likely to die. The long-term effect of topping can be catastrophic to the tree, or it can have the opposite effect and cause the tree to grow back more rapidly only to need to be trimmed all over again.

In addition to stressing a tree, tree topping is not aesthetically pleasing. The end result of a topping is a flat-topped tree that may look more like an overgrown bush than a tree. Worse, the way the tree is likely to grow back is not so pretty either. Lots of small shoots will erupt from the cut branches and the rapid regrowth is unattractive. Those shoots are often prone to breaking and can cause damage in high winds and storms.

What’s the Alternative?

The height of a tree can be reduced in a healthy way that is also attractive and effective. By selecting which branches to prune and doing so in a manner that doesn’t cause the tree stress will allow the height to be reduced and for normal regrowth. The short-term and long-term health of the tree will be intact and will be beautiful and an acceptable height for years to come.

Call Arizona Tree Trimming & Removal Today

Native trees can be trimmed all year long! Call us today and we can schedule your trimming appointment or talk through options with you too. Don’t forget, we remove trees, shrubs, and cacti as well and we offer stump grinding services too.


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