Several recent sightings of butchered trees in our area have prompted me to get on my soapbox again about the misguided practice of tree topping. Topping is perhaps the most ugly and harmful tree pruning practice known. It is the most serous injury one can inflict on a tree.

Topping is banned in many cities due to potential hazards created by a declining topped tree. Yet, despite more than 30 years of literature and seminars explaining its harmful effects, topping unfortunately remains a common bad practice. Often when one person tops their trees, a neighbor follows suit falling prey to this awful practice resulting in an epidemic of ugly trees in the neighborhood. This article explains why topping is not an acceptable technique and hopes to raise awareness that this is not a good thing to do to your trees.

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