Will a Topped Tree Grow Back?

Will a topped tree grow back? The short answer is that it might, with proper care, but don’t count on it. In this article, Ken’s Tree Service, your preferred tree service experts in Tarpon Springs, FL, explains the implications of tree topping.

will a topped tree grow back

What Is Tree Topping?

This technique refers to the process of removing a significant amount of branches from the tree’s crown. Some people remove the entire top of the canopy with this pruning cut.  

What Are the Dangers? 

A topped tree may not have enough leaves to sustain food production. It is also more vulnerable to disease and pest infection as this process causes significant damage. Finally, even if the tree survives, the chances of it regaining its natural form are very low. 

Why Do People Lop Off the Crown? 

Most people do this because the tree is too tall. However, what they don’t realize is that if the tree survives, it sends out several new dominant branches. It does this to recreate the canopy it lost, meaning that you end up with new sprouts that grow to the same height anyway. 

The downside is that these new shoots are weak and drain the tree’s strength. So, while you may think this means the answer to the question, “Will a topped tree grow back?”  is, “Yes,” the tree will fail and be likely to die. 

Are Topped Trees Dangerous? 

Topping a tree makes it look ugly, but is it dangerous? Yes; any damaged or sick tree is dangerous. It is less able to sustain its branches, meaning that the limbs become brittle and break off. 

The lack of vitality in the trees makes them more prone to toppling and to disease and insect damage. A healthy tree can usually fight off a fungal infection. But a topped tree needs to devote all of its resources to new growth, and so the fungus quickly takes hold. 

Moreover, you are cutting several branches off at once, leaving the tree open to rot. Trees can fight off infection with reasonable pruning, but if you take off more than a third of their branches, they will die. 

The new branches are weaker than they should be and so more likely to come down in a storm. Furthermore, the tree becomes top-heavy because it concentrates its growth on the crown. This makes it more likely to be whipped over by the wind. 

Are There Alternatives to Topping? 

Yes, there are always alternatives to such a drastic step. If you feel that your tree is getting too tall, contact our certified arborist. We’ll weigh up your options and suggest alternatives. 

Contact Our Team Today!

Now that you know the answer to “Will a topped tree grow back?” it’s time to consider other tree health tips like the right nutrients for trees. For more information on keeping your trees healthy, or if you need help with a troublesome tree, call Ken’s Tree Service. 

Call our team  at (727) 934-5804 to schedule a visit from a certified arborist. 

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