Bradford pear trees topped need some Advice

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Branched out member
Re: Do not promote topping.

Xman, Noel doesn't need me to fight his battles for him. My criticism is of your tone and tact than protection for Noel.

By the way, on your website, I found a picture of you or one of your employees (working from a bucket) taking some hedge trimmers to several spruces. How is that not topping? Not that I disagree with what you are doing, but that maybe you should think about the spirit of the rules, not your "black and white" interpretation.

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Sorry I haven't had time to respond to this and I don't have time right now, but I will sacrifice my sleep time to do so:

"How is that not topping?" If you can't see a difference in shearing an evergreen like a spruce or holly verses making 2 to 4 inch diameter cuts with a chainsaw leaving no lateral then no wonder you think the way you do.

Now, I do think that shearing a spruce is ridiculous. But I have done it and I have done hollies and other evergreens as well.

In shearing I'm cutting up to maybe 1/2 inch diameter twigs. An evergreen has plenty of laterals and junctions out near these tips.

Boy, you really are searching.........

That picture was taken back in 2000 I believe. I will remove it from the web-site this winter now that you brought my attention to it. Why? Because I personally think it's ridiculous to shear a spruce. Will I ever shear a spruce or holly again, I'm sure. Is it topping? No. Notice in that picture, I have a pole clip (pole pruner) hanging off the bucket too, that was for if I had a larger diameter that needed cut and I would cut back to an appropriate size alternate. (I remember when I first made the website I put this picture in because it was one of the few times I've used a bucket and many customers think that tree work can't be done without a bucket.)

Now, if I had a hedge trimmer that would cut 2 inch to 4 inch diameter limbs and I was rounding over the tree making those type of big cuts, would that be topping? YES.

Ask yourself this when contemplating a trim: If I perform this trimming and the tree is never trimmed by someone again, will my trimming have created an unsafe or unstable tree? Those spruce trees that I sheared maybe 18 inches off the sides; if they were never trimmed again, will they produce weak growth that will fail? NO. If those bradford pears that were rounded off to 2 to 4 inch stubs and were never trimmed again, would they have grown back creating a weaker tree? Most likely YES.

On the other argument: I re-read everything and I don't see where my "tone and tact", was inappropriate towards Noel, sorry. I had a female friend of mine read over this whole thing to see if she thought I was rude and condescending. She said, "no, absolutely not, you were just a little smart when you said that you weren't worried about hurting his feelings. But condescending, absolutely not."

ya big bunch of cry b...

(I omitted the word babies for fear that it may come across rude and condescending and you grown men might not be able to take it. And I would prefer this thread be about topping instead of talking about "tone").

Mark Chisholm

Re: Do not promote topping.

This isn't a reply to anyone in particular.

Certified doesn't translate as perfect or know all. It means that they knew enough to pass an exam. We all have room to learn and progress. There are a lot of times in our workday where we use our interpretations of what we learned to make decisions for each situation. Sometimes we will make a decision that others will disagree with. I even see this at our company where we work together everyday and for many years.

What's the point? There's more than meets the eye more times than not. Experiences can shape how we make decisions and our experiences differ from one another.
Re: Do not promote topping.

Xman, shearing spruces is not "dumb" or "stupid". I expect that you are achieving the goals of the client in the most practical way possible.

The golden rule of the arborist, in my opinion, is to maximize tree utlity in the urban environment while minimizing personal health and property risk. Simply put, making sure that the client gets what they want, limiting your actions to those that don't explicitly create present or future hazards.

Since topping a bradford pear or shearing a spruce does not violate this rule, I could reasonably see their applications. In a perfect world, the client would call use back every year to trim suckers to begin a pollard, or re-shear the spruces every year. If they don't, no big deal. As an aborist, you still haven't violated the above rule.

I'm not saying that topping, pollarding or internodal pruning of bradford pears is always appropriate or advisable, it's just arborists should have the freedom to perform one without being attacked from other arborists.
Look at my post where I say I have the worlds largest bradford pear 49 feet wide and 37 feet tall with picture to prove it. Look at that and then ask yourself. Who do you want advice from? Someone that has the worlds largest bradford or someone that is full of talk.


Branched out member
Coastal SC
Are you suggesting that because you have a picture of what you claim is the worlds tallest Bradford Pear that an arborist should take your advice? What advice are you giving?
sure its 5 years old but people still are asking the same question. Do you top trees? And the answer is never the is no need to, there are 3 options trim it properly, cut it down, or like I did don't trim it at all other than raise the canopy. NEVER TOP
With that said bradfords are becoming an evasive species in some areas so it is best to get rid of all of them. All but mine.
mmmm...New poster won't let a subject knowledge with strange foundations and uses incorrect terms...sounds like another arborist forum joke. TW if you truly have the magic formula for growing the worlds worst tree to abnormal heights, I would say do it again. It doesn't take long; that's the problem.

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