Why Lopping Is Dangerous Unless You Are Removing the Entire Tree

Posted on: 10 September 2014

Several people tend to refer to trimming a tree as 'lopping off a few branches'. However, this usage is incorrect when a professional tree removal service talks about lopping a tree. To these professionals, lopping refers to the process of removing most of the top branches down to the trunk. The problem with this tree growth control method is that it becomes quite dangerous, to both the tree and tree's owner. To get a better understanding of the dangers of lopping, let's take a closer look at what lopping really does.

A Tree's Canopy Feeds the Tree

The leaves of most trees collect carbon dioxide and sunlight for photosynthesis, the process by which trees feed themselves. When trees lose some limbs or branches, they lose some of their ability to collect what they need to sustain life. Trees are more deeply affected when those limbs are lopped off the highest part of the tree, often referred to as the canopy. When a large percentage of the canopy is removed, the tree dies.

The Lopped Tree Creates Environmental Danger in Five Specific Ways

Aside from the fact that lopping eventually kills the tree, there are five other dangers that a lopped tree can create:

  1. Weaker regrowth breaks during monsoons and creates flying debris.
  2. Increased parasitic insect and fungal infestations, which are drawn to the weakened and dying trees, transfer to nearby healthy trees.
  3. Dead trees can uproot and blow over in heavy storms, causing extensive property damage to homes and vehicles.
  4. Lopped trees are more prone to bush fires because more of the bark of the tree is exposed.
  5. The lopped trees cannot provide enough oxygen to support the local environment and tree-top habitats, forcing animals to move elsewhere or die off.

Instead, consider pruning the tree, relocating it or removing it entirely. Pruning it helps the tree maintain its health and the health of everything that depends upon it. Relocating the tree allows it to continue its life in a better location than its current one and creates less of a problem for you and your yard. A complete tree removal is only advisable if the tree has incurable issues or lies directly in the path of electrical wiring and cables.

When You Might See Lopping in Use

Good tree removal experts will only use lopping when they plan on removing the entire tree anyway. Lopping helps them remove the tree carefully and in pieces, rather than fell the entire tree at once and risk it crashing into a car or building. City maintenance workers may also use lopping when tree branches grow around electrical wires and telephone cables. Otherwise, it is not a practical or safe approach to tree care.

For more information, contact a company like Bradshaw Tree Services Pty Ltd.