Round-over tree trimming is also known as “topping” or “hat-racking”. This is the practice of reducing the size of the tree by taking off the large, live branches without consideration for the health or structural integrity of the tree. This method of pruning does manage the height and spread of the tree. However, it leaves behind woody stubs that may decay, weak branches, and an increased risk of failure. Here’s why B&B Tree Service recommends against rounding over your trees.
Round Over Tree Trimming Explained
A quality tree service company will always recommend against rounding over your trees, which is the practice of drastically cutting back/removing large branches on mature trees. This method of pruning not only leaves behind an ugly tree- but it also damages the tree’s health.
Some of the reasons why homeowners request this service is because they feel the tree has gotten too large for the space that it’s in or they are worried that the tree may be a hazard during a storm. However, there are several reasons why rounding over is not the best option.
8 Things to Know Before Topping a Healthy Tree
Here are a few things you need to understand before topping a healthy tree:
Starves the tree
During the process of photosynthesis, leaves produce starches, which move to the root for storage. Ultimately, the starches are converted to nutrients to help the tree grow and thrive. Rounding over the tree removes a lot of the leafy crown so that the tree is unable to produce the starch needed to nourish itself, so it eventually starves.
Shocks the tree
The crown of the tree protects the tree’s bark from the heat of the sun. When a large portion of the crown is removed, it exposes the bark to sunscald, which shocks the tree, impacting the overall health and potentially killing it.
Exposes the tree to insects/disease
Rounding over a tree creates large wounds that are difficult to heal due to the location/size of the cuts. These wounds become welcome mats to insects and promote the spread of disease and decay fungi.
Creates weak limbs
New limbs that grow from the cuts only grow from that point- they are not an extension of that branch. In most cases, the new growth is not attached securely to the limb, which means it will eventually fall off.
Promotes rapid new growth
The point of tree trimming is to control the height/spread of a tree. However, rounding over actually promotes new growth. The tree responds to these cuts by sprouting long limbs, which creates a taller, bushier tree.
May cause death
There are some species of trees that do not respond well to rounding over. They only sprout a few limbs, which don’t have the leaves required for photosynthesis. Since the tree isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, it will ultimately die, and you will need to hire B&B Tree Service to remove your dangerous trees.
Makes the tree ugly
The truth is, rounded-over trees are ugly. Even with the new growth, it will never regain its beauty. It will no longer add value to your property- it will instead be an eyesore.
Costs more in the long run
While it’s true that rounding over your trees may seem cheaper- it will ultimately cost you more. First of all, it reduces your property value. Second, the tree will eventually die and you will have to have it removed and replaced. The health of nearby trees and shrubs may be affected due to the change in sunlight and nutrients going to them. Your liability risk for falling branches is increased- and so much more.
Alternatives to Round Over Tree Trimming
As you can see, round-over tree trimming is harmful to your trees. So, what can you do instead, when you have a tree that needs to be thinned? At B&B Tree Service, we offer a variety of options:
- Canopy reduction
- Raising the canopy
While these techniques are easy to understand- it’s best to have the work completed by a professional. Contact B&B Tree Service in Asheville, North Carolina and schedule your consultation. We will be able to evaluate your trees and determine the best course of action. We have tree experts on our crew, so you can trust that the work will be done right the first time. Avoid any tree service that suggests rounding over your trees.