Why is topping bad?

Topping refers to a pruning technique which removes large amounts of a trees crown, usually more than 30%, often close to 50% or more. Topping a tree often drastically reduces its lifespan. The tree cannot recover from the large pruning wounds, and will slowly decay at these points. The tree will either die, or respond by growing lots of vigorous shoots, often around the pruning wounds, or across the trunk and branches of the whole tree. This growth response is a reaction to losing large amounts of canopy. The shoots grow much more rapidly than branches which were removed, meaning the tree will often end up larger, faster than it would have if it had not been topped. Further down the track, as decay sets in at the topping points, there is little wood left for the shoots (which are now large branches) to be supported by. This can cause a hugely dangerous situation as they begin to fail. Once topped, a tree will never be the same again, it can take decades to correct bad pruning in a large tree. Topping is rarely required, but can be used to stabilise large old trees, or trees with major defects, in this case, it is the lesser of two evils! Topping, therefore, is a bad practice, which should sometimes be applied to bad trees.

More information can be found on our "Why topping trees is bad, can cost you money, and be unsafe!" article. 

When should I prune my tree?

Other than trees which have specific pruning requirements around flowering and fruiting periods, there generally is not a requirement to prune trees at a specific time of year. Ideally, pruning trees during an active growth period (summer) is preferable, but not a necessity.

How do we cut down a tree?

Depending on a number of factors, we will either fell (cut from ground level) or dismantle (climb and take down a tree in sections) a tree. When deciding whether to fell or dismantle a tree, we will consider possible targets on site (fences, buildings, other trees), direction of lean of the tree, weight distribution of the crown, weather conditions (wind), equipment available (heavy machinery etc), as well as many other considerations. Often we may install ropes or wire cables to pull trees, which when coupled with correct felling techniques, is a good way of ensuring the tree ends up in the required direction.

Why should I use a qualified arborist?

A qualified arborist might seem expensive, but using contractors who do not have the correct tools and techniques to tackle tree work on your property may end up costing more. Damage to fences, structures, plants and trees could make a cheap job realistically uneconomical. Poor pruning techniques could cause irreparable damage to precious trees. Worst of all, untrained contractors with inadequate knowledge and safety equipment could cause harm to themselves or the public; we aim to make sure that people and property are kept safe.

What happens to the waste?

Most of the waste from a tree can be recycled. The smaller branches, often referred to a brush/brash can be processed through our wood chipper, which produces a wood chip suitable for use on gardens as a mulch. The wood chip can be left on site, or loaded onto our tipper truck for removal. The larger wood can be cut into rings, suitable for splitting into firewood. We can leave firewood rings on site or remove them totally. Some trees such as Palms, Yukkas, and Cabbage trees which are not suitable for use as firewood, we dispose of at greenwaste recycling facilities. These are then turned into compost. We aim to leave your site with little or no impact. We pride ourselves on cleaning up as if it were our own garden!

What goes into the price of my job?

The price of your job covers, travel, insurance, ACC levys, fuel for vehicles and equipment, maintenance and servicing of vehicles and equipment, replacement of personal protective equipment, waste handling, training a development of the Treelands team and our experience and skill to deliver the jobs safety and on time.  

What to expect after a visit from Treelands

Your quotation may have some guidelines of what we will remove or leave based on your requests.

As a standard option for tree pruning and removals, we include the removal of brush (debris under 100mm in diameter) usually via the wood chipper. If you’ve requested any logs to be cut, we will cut firewood sized rings, left in a tidy fashion, in an area close to where they fell. If you’ve asked for them to be removed this should be stated on your quotation. If you have a special request, please let us know during the initial site visit.

When stump grinding, the process generates some waste in the form of soil/woodchip mix. We will rake this into a pile where the stump was, or spread it out over garden if suitable. The size of the stump will dictate the amount of waste generated. If you’d like this removed, please let us know during the initial consultation.