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Topping Your Trees - Why Topping Hurts Trees
Fall is here, when is it too late to plant a tree in the fall?

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Arbor Master Tree Service - Blog

Topping Your Trees - Why Topping Hurts Trees

What is Tree topping

Topping is the practice of removing whole tops of trees or large branches and/or trunks from the tops of trees, leaving stubs or lateral branches that are too small to assume the role of a terminal leader. Other common names for the practice include hat-racking, heading, rounding over, and tipping.  Click here to Learn More


Topping hurts trees
Arbor Master Tree ServiceHow does Topping Hurt your Trees
 
Learn why topping is not an acceptable pruning technique and discover recommended alternatives.
 
Topping is perhaps the most harmful tree pruning practice known. Yet, despite more than 25 years of literature and seminars explaining its harmful effects, topping remains a common practice.   Click here to Learn More


What are the reasons for topping?

Usually tree topping happens when a tree has reached an undesirable height and size, or if the branches are interfering with utility lines, solar collectors, or perhaps are providing too much shade in a garden area.  Click here to Learn More



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Fall is here, when is it too late to plant a tree in the fall?

Fall is the best time to plant a tree or shrub - Arbor Master Tree Service

Now that fall is here, you may want to add a new tree or shrubs to your landscape.  But with Michigan’s frigid winter right around the corner, it is safe to plant now?

Before you start digging the hole to plant your new tree or shrub, let’s first find out if it's Ok to plant this late in the fall. 

Fall is actually the best time to garden. Not only is cooler weather easier on new plants and tired bones, but planting in a spent garden with rain on the horizon also has advantages.  


Cooler Weather Helps Plants

Plants love fall.  Their leaves aren’t stressed by the scorching sun, and cooler temps lessen the demand for water from the roots.  Less watering means lower maintenance. Trees and shrubs that are planted in the fall are more robust than spring or summer planted trees and shrubs.

The cooler fall  weather is ideal for newly plant trees and shrubs- Arbor Master Tree Service

Tips on late-season plantings through the winter

Ideally, trees and shrubs need about a month to establish roots before a heavy freeze, but it’s actually Ok to plant them anytime the ground is workable.  If the ground is frozen solid and unworkable, you can store un-planted shrubs in a sheltered spot with a southern exposure.  Bank around the pots with leaves or mulch to keep them insulated and water every few days.  When the growth starts in early spring, prune away any damaged branches, shape up your plants, feed with a balanced organic fertilizer, and they should recover nicely.


Tips for planting Shrubs and Trees

Tips on planting a tree - Arbor Master Tree Service

  • Avoid stimulating growth: Don’t fertilize or overly amend the soil. You can add a little compost and bone meal (to stimulate root growth), but hold off on fertilizer until spring.

  • Don’t disturb the plant: Avoid pruning, and be very gentle with the roots while planting. The shrub won’t have time to recover from damage, and it’s going to be stressed enough as it is.
 
  • Keep plants watered: The worst part of cold damage is caused by desiccation, or drying out. Keep new shrubs watered every week or two until the ground freezes, and especially right before a heavy freeze.
 
  • Watch out for frost heaving: Make sure the plants stay firmly plants when the ground freezes.
 
 
  • Apply Mulch: Add mulch to keep newly planted shrubs insulated. If you’re planting cold-sensitive trees or shrubs, you can add extra protection by wrapping or banking the plants with burlap or leaves on cold nights. Be sure to uncover in the morning.

So go ahead and plant a tree this fall.  When spring comes, here in southern Michigan, all you have to do is go outside and enjoy the fruits of your autumn labor.  The trees and shrubs will thank you with more robust root systems. 

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Fall is the best time to plant a tree - Arbor Master Tree Service

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