You may have heard the practice of tree topping referred to as heading, stubbing, or de-horning, but regardless of what it is called, it is always a bad choice. Unfortunately, many uninformed homeowners are often talked into this pruning practice. Topping a tree is not a beneficial or proper pruning practice. Its a bad decision for any tree.
Topping is the drastic removal or cutting back of large mature limbs back to stubs. Many homeowners have a misconception that having trees topped will reduce the trees height and in turn decrease the chance of it falling due to wind or ice. This is simply not true.
Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources cites eight reason why trees should not be topped:
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