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annapolitanzone7a

? on topping a tulip poplar (aka tulip tree)

I had a tree company out for an estimate to cut down a dying sweet gum. I asked him to look at a number of large (old growth) tulip poplars in our back yard. He commented that:

1. Tulip poplars are not good trees. They have small root systems that with wet soil and very heavy winds can bring down the larger trees and do severe damage to property.

2. This is less of a risk if the tulip poplars are near other large trees (or other tulip poplars) because the root systems get interlocked which helps provide some additional counteracting force in windstorms.

3. He recommended either removing or topping (his term) a few of the larger (?80 - 100ft?) tulip poplars that are close (< 20 - 30 feet) to our house. He said they would cut off the top ~1/4 or ~1/3 of the tree but would have to cut near (right above?) a large branch that is at least 1/3 the trunk diameter. He said they bounce right back and look like lollipops after a couple years.

4. He thought topping would drastically reduce the risk of these trees falling, for about ten years.


So, everything I have read online is that topping a tree is not recommended under any circumstances. I also read that topping is the indiscriminate cutting of a tree, which I'm not sure this is. Any help would be appreciated.


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