Why topping hurts treesQuestion: We have several very large maple trees in our front yard. A neighbor told us he knew someone who could "top" them for us. Is it OK to have this done?

Answer: Topping is perhaps the most harmful tree pruning practice known. Yet, despite more than 25 years of literature and seminars explaining the harmful effects, topping remains a common practice. The most common reason given for topping is to reduce the size of a tree. Often homeowners feel that their trees have become too large for their property. People fear that tall trees may pose a hazard. Topping, however, is not a viable method of height reduction and certainly does not reduce the hazard. In fact, topping will make a tree more hazardous in the long term.

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