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Alternatives to Topping Trees


Looking for ways to top trees without having to top them at all? You know you’re hurting trees when they start to fall. Topping trees in simple words means to chop off the tops of the trees to open up views or make it look pretty. This is so wrong at so many levels. Not only do we lead the tree to get diseased but also add to our expenses of getting it maintained every once in a while. Tree grows, you chop it off of a confiner. The tree continues to grow from all other points thus making it even uglier to look at. So you should better not try to top trees and use these alternatives instead. For an expert opinion  please always contact your local tree services before you make any decisions or attempt it yourself.


First Alternative is Skirting

A technique used instead of topping, “Skirting” is to cut the branches off from the ground so that you can see under the tree. Not only does it looks pretty but also helps the tree grow stronger. The lower branches are weak and contribute less energy to the tree and there removal has no significant impact on the health of the tree. It is also known as “limbing up”, the top of the tree looks heavy and the lower side is thinned and cleaned. Good technique for home owners to like it steady at all times.  To see it in action see the following video:

Second Alternative is Thinning

Thinning, yet another alternative to topping. Experts believe if the conifers are further away and the homeowners would like to have a clear view with greenery you should remove selected branches up to a specified length. This is allow more light into your yard and will help you through strong winds. Thinning helps the trees to grow stronger and store more energy to fight off diseases if any.

Third Alternative is Windowing

Windowing is usually used with trees without dense conifers. It is similar to the thinning process except that now you can chop off multiple branches up the length of the trunk. Windowing can either be done symmetrically or one place up the trunk. It is a tricky job, so it’s best to hire an arborist and get expert advice before deciding on your preferred choice.  Give your local arborist a call for their opinion  and preferably to do the job so you don’t permanently damage your trees remembers damaged trees can affect your property value in extreme cases.

Author:Matthew Wilson