Tree topping is not considered a viable practice for tree care according to current industry standards. This controversial topic in past years sparked debate, but now quality arborists know there are many alternatives to tree topping. At Cutting Edge Tree Professionals, we inform property owners on all things related to proper tree care and maintenance, so that they make the best decisions for their trees. In this short article, we discuss tree topping and better alternatives for the overall tree health.


Tree topping causes damage to the overall structure of the tree. We’ve listed some common side effects of tree topping that inhibits growth and health.


Though it may seem as though tree topping is a less expensive option for pruning, in the long-run you will likely spend more money because of the damage to your trees.

  • Cumulative expense over time- dealing with pests, diseases, and the fast-growing limbs is the downfall when it comes to expense because of tree topping.
  • Likely damage to surrounding environment- as the limbs are weakened, they are more likely to snap and break during extreme weather, which is already a concern, even for healthy trees. Cars, homes, and other parts of property are all at risk in this case.
  • Eventual Removal- topped trees will need to be removed much sooner than a healthy tree that can live hundreds of years. The expense to remove the tree overrides any short-term savings because of tree topping.


  • Instead of topping a tree, the best option is to regularly prune trees. Or, call your local arborist for tree thinning. Arborists can get rid of dead limbs and thin the tree in a way that doesn’t cause the tree harm.
  • Crowning a tree is a safe alternative to tree topping as well. Arborists are selective with which limbs to remove, keeping the size of the tree down, and giving it a proper shape.
  • Keep in mind that planting smaller trees to begin with is the best advice for anyone who could have special issues down the road.

To Wrap Up

There are alternatives to tree topping that are healthier for the tree. Talk to a qualified, certified arborist. You’ll know you found a good tree care company when they offer other solutions to tree topping, if a large tree is causing issues for property owners. Give Cutting Edge Tree Professionals a call at 814-201-9757 with your questions and tree care concerns. We’ll get you set up with a site visit from one of our team members and help by giving guidance with how to best care for your trees.



Tree Pruning Dos and Don’ts