Tree Lopping Facts You Should Know

Tree lopping, also known as topping, is commonly used interchangeably with pruning. What most don’t realise is that these two services are completely different from one another. Any arborist will tell you that lopping is more complicated activity. This article will discuss the differences between the two.

Method of Cutting

One of the main differences between topping and pruning trees is the method of cutting. In pruning, the arborist will cut the branches and stems in their apex. In topping, they will cut the branches indiscriminately. This means that the branch may be cut in the middle, near the end or near the growth.

What’s the Difference?

A lot of arborists prefer to use the term pruning when it comes to dealing with clients. This is because it’s the safest way to cut excess growth off trees. Many clients who request for tree lopping may not understand the service they’re asking for and may be surprised by the results.

Pruning is much safer for trees as opposed to topping, because it allows the stems and branches to grow organically. When done improperly, topping trees can be detrimental to the plant. Since branches are cut indiscriminately, it could result in abnormal growths in the branches. It also sometimes causes the new stems and branches to grow with weak connections.

Types of Topping

It can be dangerous to hire untrained arborists for this kind of activity. However, there are some cases when a professional, trained arborist can help. There are two types of topping:

  1. Pollarding – Pollarding is a type of pruning, which is done to a young tree. It needs to be stressed that this method is done to trees right from the beginning. The trees are trimmed to control the size and growth of the branches.
  2. Hedging – This is perhaps one of the most widely known types of tree lopping. The method involves cutting off branches that grow at a very fast rate, in order to achieve a particular shape that’s visually pleasing to the client.

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