Don’t Top Your Trees!!

Trimming is for bushes, pruning is for trees and topping is for hacks!

Topping is cutting off the top or ends of branches. It can cause problems:

Starvation when a tree can’t make enough food, because too many leaves are lost.

Shock from losing too many leaves at once may permanently weaken or even kill a tree.

Insects and Disease may set in from the many large, open wounds.

Weak Limbs that are potentially hazardous sprout from mutilated branches.

Ugliness is permanent as a topped tree will never regain its full grace and beauty.

Cost may be less for topping, but more frequent care, liabilities, perhaps removal and reduced property values can cost you big!

When done properly, pruning is the strategic removal of branches using professional cuts at appropriate points for tree structure, health, safety and to eliminate conflicts.

Whether you are interested in pruning your own trees or being more knowledgeable when you hire someone else to do it, you should attend Tree Musketeers’ Treat Your Trees workshop on pruning. Mark your calendar for Saturday Jan. 19th 10am-1pm. Kids and adults can call Tree Musketeers at 310/322-0263 or email volunteers@treemusketeers.org to register.

We prune trees for multiple reasons:
Structure –To create a good, natural form for a long healthy life.

Tree Health – To remove dead, diseased, or broken branches.

Safety – To reduce hazards, create clearance underneath, or to make traffic signs more visible.

Conflicts – To eliminate conflicts with structures, power lines, pedestrians, etc.

Preventative – To thin and lighten the load on lateral branches to reduce the chance of tree failure in storms.

Structural pruning is done in the 2nd or 3rd year after planting. Light pruning to remove dead, broken or diseased branches can take place anytime. Heavy pruning is generally best while trees are dormant or asleep in the winter and before new growth in the spring. This is a hard and fast rule for pines and other coniferous trees. Pruning rules vary to some extent with evergreens and by species, so ask a Certified Arborist or other tree expert for advice.

Whether you are interested in pruning your own trees or being more knowledgeable when you hire someone else to do it, you should attend Tree Musketeers’ Treat Your Trees workshop on pruning. Mark your calendar for Saturday Jan. 19th 10am-1pm. Kids and adults can call Tree Musketeers at 310/322-0263 or email volunteers@treemusketeers.org to register.