Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
Show All Answers
There is a common misconception that topping a tree will "revive" it. This is simply not true and no one should be convinced to the contrary by anyone still trying to sell the so called "service" of topping. Without question, topping any species of tree (especially large, mature shade trees) is a harmful practice that almost always leads to structural defects and functional stress. Structural defects can lead to limb and branch failures that, on their own, can damage surrounding property. Severe enough limb and branch failures not properly addressed with pruning can lead to internal decay in trees which only worsens the tree's condition over time, both structurally and functionally. Functional stress can leave trees more susceptible to outside pathogens which can and often does lead to decline and/or mortality. In essence, there are no known benefits to "topping" trees but there are numerous, negative and often dangerous side-effects.
Topping is a harmful and potentially destructive practice with any species of tree. Some smaller ornamental trees like Crapemyrtle can tolerate annual topping but the benefits of this practice are questionable at best. A reduction in size or maintenance of a specific size can often be achieved in Crapemyrtle but flower production is not enhanced and winter form along with other aesthetic characteristics are completely altered. Crapemyrtle is a diverse tree and one that is produced by growers in every size, shape and color imaginable. If your yard space dictates a small Crapemyrtle, you can buy and small Crapemyrtle. And if you have a sizable lawn then there's a large crapemyrtle out there with your name on it! Crapemyrtles that are properly planted in full sun, maintained as they should be and allowed to grow to their natural size tend to be some of the most beautiful, ornamental trees in the landscape. They are a total package tree with aesthetic as well as survivability qualities from top to bottom. It's unfortunate that so many people still miss out on all the wonderful characteristics this species has to offer when it's allowed to just be itself!