The practice of ‘topping’ trees is never practiced by tree care professionals. It is only practiced by amateurs who don’t know any better.
Topping is perhaps the most harmful tree pruning practice known. Yet, despite more than 25 years of literature and seminars explaining its harmful effects, topping remains a common practice. This brochure explains why topping is not an acceptable pruning technique and offers better alternatives.
Topping is the indiscriminate cutting of tree branches. Other names for this practice include “heading,” “tipping,” “hat-racking,” and “rounding over.”
The most common reason given for topping is to reduce the size of a tree. Home owners may feel that their trees have become too large for their property. Or they might fear that tall trees may pose a hazard. The fact is that topping will make a tree more hazardous in the long term.
Topping often removes 50 to 100 percent of the leaf-bearing crown of a tree. Because leaves are the food factories of a tree, removing them can temporarily starve a tree. If the tree is healthy, it should survive. If it is not healthy, it may die. Here are more reasons you should never have a tree topped.
Sometimes a tree must be reduced in height or spread. Providing clearance for utility lines is an example. There are recommended techniques for doing so – topping is not a recommended practice.
In the end it is less expensive and better for the tree to simply call a certified arborist.
When selecting an arborist, check for membership in professional organizations such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), or the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA). Check for ISA arborist certification. Certified Arborists are experienced professionals who have passed an extensive examination covering all aspects of tree care. Ask for proof of insurance. Ask for a list of references, and don’t hesitate to check them.
Parts of this article have been taken from “Why Topping Hurts Trees” http://ow.ly/6INUD
Hurricane Irma’s high winds left thousands of toppled trees in its wake, and the recovery work related to Hurricane Harvey continues. As employees in the tree care industry work to remove trees and debris in the recovery effort, they should be aware of the hidden dangers of downed power lines, wildlife, and the hazards of the equipment they are using. OSHA knows safety will continue to be a priority, and we are here to help. OSHA’s hurricanes and floods, and tree care industry online resources, and our toll free number (800-321-6742) are available 24 hours a day.
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2017 Registration To Be Announced Soon
Enroll in Landscape IPM: Ornamentals and Turf, and take your first steps toward getting a UF Pest Management Certificate or becoming LMA Certified! Classes to be announced soon!
A three credit/six week course will be offered starting June 2016 at the University of Florida (UF). The course is called “Landscape IPM: Ornamentals and Turf” and is course number IPM 4254. This course will be offered for UF credit and will be available for students that are enrolled at UF or for people outside UF that are interested in the material. UF will offer the course and it will be available 100% online. You must have computer and internet access to take this class. This course is for UF juniors and seniors and landscape and pest management supervisors and owners.
This course will be used as a measure for LMA Certification. The LMA will offer students who pass this class (with an A or a B) the opportunity to become LMA Certified without additional testing since they will be tested as part of the course. LMA will also provide a free membership to passing participants. In addition we offer scholarships to individuals that have passed and have sent in their submission in to the LMA office. This course will also count towards a UF Certificate in Landscape Pest Management.
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