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Can You Behead a Tree Without Killing It?

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Trees never stop growing. In fact, a study in 2014 discovered that as trees age, their growth accelerates! This means that even if you have an ancient tree in your yard, unlike an old human, it will continue to grow in size. It won't grow taller, but it will continue to bulk up, growing more branches and leaves.

Unfortunately, this means that trees can sometimes become so big that they leave homes in darkness and block the warmth and light of the sun. As a result, you might consider the possibility of removing the uppermost part of a tree, or even lopping off its head altogether. However, this is inadvisable for several reasons.

Trees Starve Without Their Leaves

When you remove a large portion of a tree's branches and leaves, a method known as topping, you deprive the tree of much of its ability to create food through photosynthesis. In human terms, that would be like suddenly taking someone's ability to chew and eat solid foods away. Though they would eventually adapt, they would struggle at first.

Although you'll get your sunlight back, you will now be the owner of a tree that is stressed. Since the tree can no longer produce enough food for its size, it will stimulate the rapid growth of new branches. Unfortunately, these branches will be weak and prone to breaking in strong winds.

Pests Love a Wounded Tree

Removing too many of a tree's branches at once also leaves it at the mercy of pests and fungal diseases. Just as is the case with humans, healing can take time and requires a lot of work, which in turn requires adequate sustenance.

If a tree needs to heal multiple large wounds at once, but lacks the necessary ability to take in sunlight, water and food to do so, healing will take much longer. Pests and fungal diseases can then invade these open wounds, possibly sentencing the tree to a slow death.

Hire an Experienced Arborist Instead

Instead of tackling the pruning job yourself or hiring a general landscaping company, seek out a reputable and experienced arborist. Highly trained arborists can give you back your light and warmth by thinning, not topping, your tree. This means they make small cuts, removing smaller, less-important branches throughout the tree's canopy.

Pruning a tree in this way will keep your tree healthy and attractive while giving you back the ability to enjoy warm summer days in your backyard. contact a tree service company to learn more about tree trimming services.