Educated, Experienced & Excited About What We Do!

Learn / Ask The Landscape Professional

I'm wondering if there is a possibility of cutting off the top of a weeping cherry tree and still have it live. I would like a smaller, tidier tree since it is now growing terribly close to the roadside electrical wires. Thanks for your advice. Jackie

Answer

I'm wondering if there is a possibility of cutting off the top of a weeping cherry tree and still have it live. I would like a smaller, tidier tree since it is now growing terribly close to the roadside electrical wires. Thanks for your advice. Jackie Jackie - You definitely do not want to cut off the top of your weeping cherry tree. That is called "topping" which can cause a number of problems:

1) A tree that has been topped looks bad

2) Topping a tree increases the chances a tree will become diseased or pest infested because of the multiple open wounds

3) The tree's ability to make food by photosynthesis is greatly impaired, which will shorten the life of the tree

4) Topping removes the canopy leaves that the bark needs for shade; without the leaves, it will get scalded and damaging sunburn

5) Topping a tree is very stressful for the tree and it will eventually die

6) After a tree is topped, it will start growing what are called "water sprouts" (not true branches) that appear to fill in the tree, but are not well attached structurally. They generally grow out at odd angles and will break easily in the wind

There are proper pruning methods to reduce the height of trees by removing selective limbs where they originate at a larger stem. Sometimes, this process must be done over several years. This type of pruning is best left to a licensed arborist, who is trained on how to do this correctly. For very good reasons, Connecticut law requires that every tree company that does pruning must have an arborist licensed by Connecticut DEEP. Licensed arborists undergo extensive training and must pass a rigorous examination in order to get their state license. Tree topping is taken very seriously by the state and the tree care industry. If an arborist tops a tree, he or she will lose their license.

The best advice is to plant the proper tree in the first place. Sprigs & Twigs has trained licensed arborists on staff and provides expert tree care services in tree selection, planting, proper pruning or free consultation. Give us a call.

View As PDF

View a PDF representation of this article To view a PDF of this article, please click here.

 


About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.

Topics

Enter a search term above, or select a category below to browse the available articles.
Lecture Series

Our weekly "Ask The Landscape Professional" series is expanding to include video lectures on various topics. To watch some of our lectures online, please click here.

Submit Your Question

Do you have a question to Ask The Landscape Professional? Click here to contact us and send us your question!

The Official Landscape Company of Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium

Official Landscape Company of Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium     Official Landscape Company of Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium