For decades now I / we have been preaching the benefits of proper pruning and how destructive topping is to our trees. Proper pruning works with a tree’s growth habits and physiology to make it healthier and structurally stronger to give the tree an increased live span in the environment in which it lives. The normal yearly cycle for a deciduous ( leaf bearing ) tree involves 1) sap flow and bud break in the spring which uses food storage from the previous year. 2) Leaf expansion and chlorophyll production ( the green color ) which is used to interact with sunlight to produce carbohydrates and begin storing energy for the next years bud break. 3) The food storage process from the carbohydrate production is complete in July sometime. At this point a tree just cruises into the fall until bud production and leaf drop. Completing the years cycle.
The topping hackers usually start their cycle of damage in or after July with a strong push in the fall going into winter. During this timing, at least a topped tree has a chance to put out water sprouts the next year since there are usually no buds left to break.
Last Thursday I witnessed a crew of tree nairdowells topping a group of Maples. This interruption of food production and storage will cause even more harm than the typical topping. These trees will try to create new leaves using depleted food reserves and most likely will not have enough recovered for next year…….or they could just die now. Time will tell.
Until next we meet I bid you for now.
Thanks and see you out yonder.