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Topping is a destructive practice with any species of tree. Crapemyrtle can tolerate annual topping but there are zero benefits associated with the practice. Size reduction can be achieved but to the detriment of flower production, winter form and other aesthetics. In addition, plants are left to cope with substantial injury and decay recovery. Crapemyrtle is a diverse species, with varieties and cultivars that grow naturally into numerous sizes, shapes and colors. If your planting area dictates a small crapemyrtle, you can plant a crapemyrtle that stays small. If you have a large space to fill then there's a large crapemyrtle out there that fits the bill. Crapemyrtles properly planted in full sun, maintained as they should be and allowed to grow to their natural size tend to be some of the most beautiful ornamental trees in the landscape. They are a "total package" tree, possessing an assortment of aesthetic and durability qualities. It's unfortunate that many people still miss out on all the wonderful characteristics this species has to offer when it's allowed to just be itself!
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The City of Hoover employs two ISA Certified Arborists that can help. Please call or email Colin Conner at (205) 739-7141, (205) 288-6068 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment for free consulting services.
There is a common misconception that topping a tree will "revive" it. This is simply not true and no one should be convinced to the contrary by anyone still trying to sell the so called "service" of topping. Without question, topping any species of tree (especially large, mature shade trees) is a harmful practice that leads to structural defects and functional stress. Structural defects can result in limb and branch failures that, on their own, can injure people and damage property. Severe enough limb and branch failures can lead to decay in trees which worsens the tree's overall condition over time. Functional stress can leave trees more susceptible to outside pathogens which can and often does lead to decline and/or mortality. There are no known benefits to "topping" trees but there are numerous, negative and often dangerous side-effects. Here's what the ISA has to say:
Trees are Hoover's most valuable natural resource. The benefits of trees are abundant and in some cases irreplaceable. Protecting and preserving healthy, intact stands of existing trees produces optimal, tree-based benefits. Here's what the ISA has to say:
Yes, Hoover is in its 20th consecutive year as a Tree City USA and we are extremely proud to have maintained this designation. Search 'Tree City USA' or visit the Arbor Day Foundation's website to find more details on the Tree City USA program.