Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Lopping, also known as tree lopping and topping, is the practice of cutting trunks and branches of a tree in an effort to contain the tree's size or shape. Lopping is differentiated from other styles of pruning by where the cuts are made. When a tree is lopped, the cuts are made internodally, or not at branch unions and collars at the correct angles, leaving a piece of protruding timber that is called a stub.
Lopping in many cases is careful an inappropriate pruning method for amenity trees. The lopped stubs may regrow adventitious epicormic shoots which are bonded only to the bark. These epicormic shoots can grow dynamically and, unless regularly pruned off, may outgrow the original height and spread of the tree. Further, the ends of the lopped stubs are exposed to pathogens which may enter and infect the tree.
In orchards, fruit trees are often lopped to encourage regrowth and to keep a smaller tree for ease of picking fruit. The pruning regime in orchards is more intended and the productivity of each tree is an important factor. In an orchard, though, the natural longevity of a tree is often compromised in favor of its output in fruiting. Orchard trees are also carefully monitored and treated with fungicides and insecticides to minimise losses.

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