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What Does Tree Lopping Mean?

3 Mins read

Tree lopping is a commonly used phrase that many people use when referring to pruning, however, there is a difference between the two, which is incredibly important to distinguish. In this article, we are going to outline the major differences between lopping and pruning so that you can properly understand which is best suited to your needs and requirements, and the tree itself.

The confusion can often lead to mistakes being made that can negatively impact the tree. This is why it is paramount that you fully understand the terminology when looking for such a service.

Lopping is, indeed, remarkably similar to pruning. The important difference, however, is that pruning is now widely used as it is set to the guidelines of Australian Standards 4373-2007 “Pruning of Amenity Trees”. In a nutshell, this ensures that proper pruning procedures are followed and that the tree gets the proper care. Pruning techniques, when executed properly allow the tree to fight against diseases, and ultimately help it to sustain a long and healthy life.

What does Tree Lopping Mean? (Tree lopping can have damaging effects to a tree)

This is not to say that you should never pursue tree lopping as a service, however, if it is proper care and intricate pruning that you are after, then it is important that you know the difference. Tree lopping is not pruning, at least, not by today’s standards. Tree lopping is a much more aggressive form of shaping a tree and one that is usually carried out with little regard for longevity, and simply the immediate aesthetic appeal.

The long-term effects of tree lopping for example, is that epicormic growths (which are poorly attached to the outer layers of a tree) get bigger, and they become much more susceptible to breaking. This can often lead to injury or damage to property, so you must always consider carefully when pursuing tree lopping as a tree care solution.

What does Tree Lopping Mean? (Tree lopping can cause stress and attract infestation)

Tree lopping can put a tree through a lot of stress, making it vulnerable to disease and decay. In addition to that, open wounds of a tree can attract pest infestations. Insects are even attracted to the chemical signals that a tree releases when it goes into a sort of “defence mode”.

When a tree is properly pruned however, (cut just beyond the branch collar), the tree is then equipped to close the wound properly and thus fight against any pests or the prospect of decay.

Another thing to consider when lopping, is that if more than 50% of the tree’s canopy is thinned, it can starve the tree of vital energy that it requires. Not only that, but the inner branches will be exposed to a great deal of sunlight which can lead to burning the inner tissues and outer layers of bark.

What does Tree Lopping Mean? (Understanding the difference between lopping and pruning is crucial)

An arborist at AB Trees will be able to advise your accordingly on the differences between the two, and which method will be best suited to the species of tree in question. There are many species of tree, each with their own unique properties, strengths, and weaknesses. Some species are not as susceptible to damage, others struggle immensely after being lopped.

In any case, tree lopping is an aesthetic process. It is typically used when people want to significantly reduce the size of a tree. If you are not particularly worried about the trees longevity and you simply want it to be tighter and tidier, then tree lopping is a viable option. However, if you are conscious of the tree’s health and wish to do what is best for it, regardless of how large the tree grows etc, then tree pruning is the preferred option, allowing the tree to remain  happy and healthy.

 A tree loppers advice would be to use it sparingly. Perhaps you can have a tree lopped in order to reduce its size, and then further maintain it with carefully executed pruning techniques to help maintain its health and appearance.

In any case, you should always seek professional advice and assistance from the tree lopping experts.

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