That’s the message from TreesCharlotte about tree topping. Topping is the indiscriminate cutting back of tree branches that is also referred to as “heading,” “tipping,” “hat-racking” and “rounding over.” Here in the Carolinas, it’s often done to crapemyrtles.
While the idea persists that topping trees is necessary, certified arborists say it’s a harmful practice that can lead to branch failure and affect the health of the tree. Topped trees sometimes do the opposite of what’s intended: sprouts can emerge from the cut limbs and grow quickly and wildly. In the end, the tree can look disfigured, if it even survives.
The alternatives to tree topping are branch reduction and directional pruning–two measures that will help your tree thrive in the end and should be performed by a certified arborist. If you think a tree in the city’s right-of-way needs maintenance, please call Landscape Management at 704-336-4262.