Don’t Top Your Trees!

Trees are invaluable for deer hunters, whether we’re hunting from them in stands or creating new mast areas or even trimming their limbs to create mock scrapes and licking branches. Specifically for deer hunting, we can plant trees for windbreaks near food plots, which helps deer in winter and hunters, too. We can select good, beneficial mast-producing trees to help deer and wildlife. Find out some facts and fiction from Tree Care Industry Association about how to get the best out of your tree friends. If problems caused by a tree cannot be solved through acceptable management practices, the tree should be removed and replaced with another species or other plant material more appropriate for the site. Drastic topping cuts create opportunities for epicormic shoots on the remaining trunk to grow quickly into large, poorly attached branches, if the tree doesn’t just die outright. Incorrect pruning can cause trees to become hazardous and, therefore, constitutes negligence. Fiction: “Topping is a time-tested way to prune a tree.” Fact: Topping is not a standard practice, and in fact is “outlawed” by national tree care standards. So how can you reduce a tree’s growth without the injurious effects of the “toppings?” Consult with a professional arborist, who is bound by an industry code of ethics to provide proper pruning according to the profession’s tree care standards. Find a Professional A professional arborist can assess your landscape and work with you to determine the best care for your trees.

Trees are invaluable for deer hunters, whether we’re hunting from them in stands or creating new mast areas or even trimming their limbs to create mock scrapes and licking branches.

Some deer hunters wouldn’t know what to do without trees!

Without trees, of course, we’d just have barren landscapes and what fun would that be? No treehouses as kids, no firewood for winter, no tire swings or shade in summer or cool images of limbs covered in snow in winter.

Specifically for deer hunting, we can plant trees for windbreaks near food plots, which helps deer in winter and hunters, too. We can select good, beneficial mast-producing trees to help deer and wildlife. That includes fruit trees, which are super for “fruit plots” and also give you the benefit of fresh fruit for the family. Trees are invaluable to us for so many reasons.

Sometimes we get kinda stupid with our tree friends, though. We decide to nip and tuck like some kind of forest plastic surgeon. We may plant something that sounds good in theory, but 10-20-30 years later we’re wondering why we thought it was a good idea at first. We might even get on a kick about the hottest mast tree for deer, only to find out later it’s an exotic species that harms our native plants. Perhaps we decided to get really wild and cut off the tops of trees, thinking we’re being smart.

Psstt … topping is a bad deal. Find out some facts and fiction from Tree Care Industry Association about how to get the best out of your tree friends.

Determining the health of trees on your property is a great part of a habitat management plan.

Tree Topping Fiction vs. Facts
Definition: Tree Topping – the removal of main tree branches to stubs in either a straight-across hedge fashion or a complete delimbing of the tree, leaving only the main trunk or trunks of a tree.

Fiction: “Topping rejuvenates the tree.”
Fact: Tree topping usually removes so much of the tree’s crown that it can unbalance an older tree’s root-to-shoot ratio and temporarily cut…

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