A beautiful spring with the colorful flowers from plants, shrubs and trees is the time for getting out and tidying up yards and gardens. We also notice some "pruning" that tells us that the chainsaws are out in force.
Pruning trees is a skill that requires an understanding of how trees grow and how they respond to dramatic branch removal. Pruning trees and pruning shrubs are not the same thing. Much has been written about topping trees and why is should not be done (and most of that information is available on the internet) - but people still top their trees.
Why do people top trees?
Some say that they are afriad their tree will fall over and, where we have the chance of hurricannes and tornados, bow over. Trees do not tend to get tall and then fall over, so topping solves a problem that does not actually exist. And, yes, while trees can fail under high wind conditions, properly pruned trees are less likely to fail.
Some think that because they see topped trees that must be correct tree maintenance, much like piling mulch in little volanoes at the tree base (a topic for another day).
Pruning and maintaining trees is part of a tree owner's responsibility, but understanding what pruning does and what proper pruning looks like is the fist step, long before the chainsaw comes out.
Well cared for trees can add beauty and character as well as environmental benefits for many years when properly cared for. Let's not let careless treatment destroy that. There are many excellent resources about pruning and topping trees.
Thank you for this informative reminder!
Topping is a national epidemic. We here in Washington state recently developed posters for an anti-topping campaign. The minimal text is in an effort to overcome language and literacy barriers. Here is the link to the campaign site.
Excellent posters and a nice succinct tag line. Thanks for the link!
Great poster. Are they available? We battle the same issues here in MO I call it the Midwest Mindset.... However I do believe we are making some progress. Our Municipality has a no topping for hire statute, that is helpful when we catch them.
Just because anyone can purchase a chainsaw, doesn't mean they need to own one.
Yes. Thanks for asking.
All the posters may be found on the WA DNR's Flickr site. There is a link to the site and a listing of all the posters and bookmarks (there are several versions) on the anti-topping site: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/Topics/UrbanForestry/Pages/rp...
Or go to the WA UCF home page and find a link www.dnr.wa.gov/urbanforestry
Spread the word!
You think pruning with a chainsaw is bad, I visited one homeowner who admitted to using a circular saw to remove branches from a tree. This news was horrifying on so many levels!