Throughout this series we have been highlighting the negatives of tree topping on your tree as well as you. Finally, we would like to address how it can impact your wallet and what can be done as an alternative to tree topping.
Topping is not cheap!
There are several costs which go way beyond the initial fee for topping which can remain hidden to a homeowner.
- Further Maintenance Costs—Topping a tree is not a one-time fix. Assuming the tree survives, pruning to correct the topping will be necessary within a couple years. If your tree dies, paying for tree removal will be necessary.
- Impact on Property Value—Trees if properly cared for can add as much as 10-20% to your overall property value. Unsightly topped trees not only could be a deterrent if trying to sell your home because of the visual eyesore, but they also would be considered a future maintenance cost. Basically, on the financial books and the eyes, topped trees are a serious problem.
- Possible Liability Costs—As previously mentioned, topped trees are a fall hazard waiting to happen with their weakly attached branches. Since topping is not viewed as a responsible pruning choice, a fallen branch from a topped tree causing damage could easily be rendered an act of negligence. The risks of having a topped tree are clear, so it is best to avoid the liability.
Topping is bad…so what can be done about an overgrown tree?
- Proper pruning—If branches are removed at the proper points, the tree will be able to recover from the cut. For smaller branches, removal at the origin is the recommended pruning technique. If a larger branch must be pruned, for the sake of a power line for example, it should be pruned back to a lateral branch, so that the role of being the core of the tree is not in the hands of an incapable branch.
- Tree removal—In some serious cases, the pruning necessary for the tree to not be a danger to your home, property, and itself is not possible and the tree might have to be removed. Although not an ideal solution, removal is still a safer and more responsible choice than topping.
If you have a tree outgrowing your yard, imposing on your power lines, or threatening to fall, contact 770-tree-guy for a consultation with our arborist. We only utilize arboricultural practices which are in the best interest of you and your tree.