“Tree topping”, or the practice of removing whole tops of trees or large branches and/or trunks from the tops trees, is not something we recommend.  In the long term, it can be detrimental to a tree’s health and often leads to other problems which will then need to be dealt with.  It may even lead to the loss and subsequent need for removal of the tree. 

Why is topping bad for trees?

First, topping reduces the trees ability to make food.  Trees require a large leaf surface area to do photosynthesis which is how they generate energy for maintenance and growth. When a tree is topped, most of its food-making ability (leafy surface area) is removed, which cuts off its potential and lessens its reserves.*

Second, topping stimulates undesirable “water spout” growth – dense, unattractive, upright branches that will vigorously regrow and permanently change the tree’s structure.*

Third, topping leaves large wounds and injures the tree.*

Finally, topping disfigures trees and causes broom-like branch growth to replace the natural beauty and form of the tree.  In fact, it is estimated that a topped tree reduces real estate values by 20-100%.*

Our approach to tree topping

As bad as topping is for a tree, we don’t absolutely refuse to do it.  However, we are happy to offer better options that accomplish the same goal.  Often we’re able to show our customers different ways that they can achieve the results they want.  In the end, if you are determined to top your tree, we will work with you to offer a suitable solution.

*Susan C. French, “A Guide to Successful Pruning: Stop Topping Trees!” https://pubs.ext.vt.edu, (May 1, 2009)


(540) 886-5577

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment for tree topping or just want to learn more about it, give us a call today at (540) 886-5577.

Request Your Free Estimate

Use the form below to request a free estimate on your Tree Topping needs in the Staunton, VA area.

    Reasons for Tree Topping

    Tree Topping Staunton, VA

    The primary reasons that a lot of people get their trees topped is because the trees start to get in the way of their view, they can start touching power lines, and sometimes “the tree is just to big”. Tree topping does reduce the overall size of the tree but there is usually a better way to achieve the same goal.

    We can discuss the options available to you to properly reduce the overall size of your tree and then maintain a healthy beautiful form for the long term. Proper size reduction can be done using heading cuts at just the right location, leaving a terminal leader to take over apical dominance.

    Another process we regularly recommend is “thinning with an eye to reduction”. This is the process of thinning the exterior canopy of the tree by removing larger limbs and leaving the smaller ones. This both reduces the overall size and thickness of the tree but creates a lighter canopy that is less prone to structural failure. Thinning also lets more light and air pass through the canopy of the tree which can help to reduce the spread of disease.

    Other names for topping include “heading,” “tipping,” “hat-racking,” and “rounding over.”

    Tree Topping Pricing

    Proper height and size reduction isn’t as easy as it looks, which means that we do need to do a bit of investigation into your tree to really get a good idea as to how much to charge you for our services. We are always happy to come look at your tree, make recommendations and quote a firm price.

    Some of the things we will look at include type of tree, where the tree is located, and how much reduction we will have to do.

    Call us today, and we will be able to give you an accurate estimate.

    Call Us Today for Tree Removal in Staunton, VA and Augusta County

    (540) 886-5577

    Tree Topping in Staunton

    You have to be careful when you hire a tree service to “top” your trees. We suggest using this guide when hiring a professional tree service. Anyone who recommends topping should be viewed skeptically as this is not an ISA approved practice.

    We serve all of Augusta County, including:

    • Staunton
    • Waynesboro
    • Stuarts Draft
    • Churchville
    • Augusta County
    • Fishersville
    • Greenville
    • Verona
    • Surrounding areas

    Along with all of the services listed above, we also offer:

    • Land Clearing
    • Plant Health Care
    • Bucket Truck Services
    • Other Services on Request

    Give us a call today at (540) 886-5577 to get started.