"Topping Off" a White Pine Tree

Asked August 3, 2018, 4:57 PM EDT

We have a white pine tree. It is about 35 years old and is 50-60 feet high. Some of the roots are visible. The tree is not leaning. In the bad wind storm we had earlier this year, the tree was swaying quite a bit, which worries us. We were wondering if we could have it cut off, leaving the lower 20-25 feet in place. Would it kill or damage the tree?

Baltimore County Maryland certified arborist plant care trees

1 Response

We never recommend topping a tree. Topping stimulates the growth of weak sucker shoots and wood rots are more likely to become a problem in trees were topped. If a tree must be reduced in size, we recommend that you work with a certified arborist who can prune correctly to reduce the crown of the tree. https://extension.umd.edu//sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG84_Pru...

https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-458/430-458.html

You can find a certified arborist by using the "Find an Arborist" search feature on the website of the International Society of Arboriculture. http://www.treesaregood.org/

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