To top or not to top?

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by pblack, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. pblack

    pblack Member

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    I live in White Rock and have a very tall cedar tree in front of my house. It needs to be cleaned up, I would like to get more light to my property. It was previously topped perhaps 30 or 40 years ago and is now about 70' tall, way too tall for my small house. I have had a couple of estimates for topping and tipping the tree - one person wants to 'cable' the top and prune branches, the other person would re-top the tree and 'tip' the branches ($800 to $1200). From what I've read about topping and re-topping, I'm starting to think I might be better off just to remove the tree and get a nice feature tree to replace it.
    So my two questions are:
    Any experience with topping or re-topping very tall cedars?
    Any suggestions for an attractive feature tree that never needs pruning? I was thinking of a dogwood perhaps.
    Pattyblack.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Topping is never a good thing to do. Topped trees very commonly re-grow with weak branching liable to split and collapse. I'd agree, best to remove completely and replace.
     
  3. pblack

    pblack Member

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    Thanks for response; I'm certainly leaning toward taking it down.
    pattiblack.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    In which case the tree will soon be the one that is leaning.
     
  5. pblack

    pblack Member

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    To replace the leaning tree, can anyone recommend a Japanese Maple that is hardy in this area (White Rock) and will be no taller than about 20-25'? Any suggestions appreciated.
     
  6. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    If you repost this query in the Maples forum, you will probably be flooded with responses. But in general, all Japanese maples (as far as I know) should be hardy in your area, and very few will grow larger than 20-25' -- and even that will take many, many years. A bigger challenge, probably, is finding a large enough tree to make an impact without waiting a decade or so. These are generally slow-growing plants, so larger specimens can be very expensive.

    The maple I chose for a key spot in front of my house was Acer palmatum 'Yezo Nishiki', a red-leaved type which is reputed to be a (relatively) fast and upright grower.
     
  7. pblack

    pblack Member

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    Thanks for your suggestion. Yes, I can see that the Acer Forum is pretty extensive. Any suggestions as to good nurseries to visit for the maple you mentioned?
    Thanks
     
  8. pblack

    pblack Member

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    Forgive me, on closer examination I see you are on another coast, so maybe someone else has suggestions on good local Vancouver area nurseries for Japanese Maples.
    Thanks
     

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