Cutting the top off a tree - Knowledgebase Question

Douglas, Ma
Avatar for betmccallum
Question by betmccallum
November 1, 2010
I have 2 60-80' white pines and would like to cut the tops off--one tree service said it was no problem. The other said the tree will die within a year. Which is correct?

Answer from NGA
November 1, 2010
Topping trees is never a good idea. If your trees are too large you can have a professional arborist prune it so it looks smaller but his/her pruning should not include removing the top. Instead, the branches can be thinned and shortened. Done properly your tree will look like it has a natural growth pattern. If you top a tree, you'll end up with lots and lots of vertical branches rather than a single central leader. It will look like a bad hair day every single day and will compromise the health of your pine.

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