Tree Care and Maintenance
Seasonal Tree Care Tips:
Winter 2019 Topped Trees
Topping: An Inappropriate and Prohibited Pruning Practice…Here’s Why!
Tree topping is considered an unacceptable pruning practice by the American National Standards Institute and many municipalities, including the City of Lake Oswego, prohibit topping. Lake Oswego Code Chapter 55 defines topping as the severe cutting back of a tree’s limbs to stubs 3-inches or larger in diameter so as to remove the natural canopy and disfigure the tree. Topping a tree in Lake Oswego constitutes removal which requires a permit if the tree is at least 6-inches in diameter. This harmful practice not only reduces the landscape value of your tree but it also results in stress that can lead to death, leaves stub wounds that invite decay fungi and insects, may result in rapid new growth with weak branch attachments and ultimately increases hazard risk potential. Topping by utility companies is allowed with a permit in furtherance of public safety where other pruning practices are impractical, so having the foresight to plant only small statured trees beneath utility lines is important. Check out these resources to learn more:
- Why Topping Hurts Trees, a brochure by the International Society of Arboriculture
- What’s Wrong with Topping Trees, a publication by Rita McKenzie, Urban Forester, Department of Forestry & Natural Resources, Purdue University
- The Myth of Tree Topping, an article by Linda Chalker-Scott, Associate Professor Center for Urban Horticulture, University of Washington
- Tree Care Tips: Tree Topping, a YouTube video by Stihl USA
Please check back for more seasonal tree care and maintenance advice!
Fall 2018: Autumn Leaves
Summer 2018: Emerald Ash Borer
Spring 2018: Pruning Young Trees
Winter 2017: Tree Related Storm Damage
Fall 2017: New Tree Selection and Planting
Summer 2017: Trees and Turfgrasses
Spring 2017: English Ivy Removal
Winter 2017: Recognizing Tree Risk
Summer 2016: Drought Stress
Fall 2016: Preparing Trees for Winter
Additional Tree Care Resources:
|National Arbor Day Foundation||The Morton Arboretum|
|Oregon Department of Forestry||Tree Care Info|
|ISA Find an Arborist||Oregon Community Trees|
|Oregon Department of Forestry||Alliance for Community Trees|
Right Tree in the Right Place
Use this handy guide for assistance in choosing the right species of tree based on the constraints of a site, such as overhead wires, narrow plant strips, and proximity to structures.
"Right Tree Right Place" - helpful information such as "Use this guide for assistance in choosing the right species of tree based on the constraints of a site, such as overhead wires, narrow plant strips, and proximity to structures."
"Master Plant List" - a guide to the plants that are acceptable for mitigation requirements in Lake Oswego.