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Tree lopping, tree pruning and tree removal are three distinct tree services that are employed for different circumstances. While pruning and removal are commonly used by arborists, lopping is a controversial strategy due to its potential to be harmful to the growth and wellbeing of trees. As such, most arborists will generally avoid lopping unless it is absolutely necessary. For this reason, many professional tree surgeons prefer to be known as arborists rather than ‘loppers’.
The concept of tree lopping is a hot-button issue in the tree services industry. In this article, we will run you through everything you need to know about the topic and answer some of your most frequently asked questions about tree lopping. If you need more information or would like a free quote for your next tree lopping job, get in touch with our friendly customer service team today on 131 546.
What is tree lopping?
One of the reasons that there is so much confusion around the concept of tree lopping is that the term is poorly defined. Some will define it as the indiscriminate cutting of branches. Others will claim that lopping is another word for ‘topping’ – the removal of large sections from the canopy of a tree. To step back from the industry debate and look purely at the term, lopping is the act of cutting off a section from the whole. Therefore tree lopping is the removal of any section, be it branch or canopy, from the tree. Defined as such we can see that much of the work of a tree surgeon involves lopping to some degree. When a tree is pruned, parts of the tree are trimmed and cut off. When a tree is removed, parts of the tree first need to be cut off so that it can be safely felled. As such, lopping is an essential element of most arborist services. So now that we can understand the concept of lopping and see its application within other services, we will now distinguish it from those services by observing the differences.
What’s the difference between tree lopping and tree pruning?
The differences between tree lopping and tree pruning really come down to intention. The purpose of pruning is for tree maintenance and therefore the removal of branches and leaves is done carefully and with the intent of promoting growth and balance. Tree lopping on the other hand is an emergency service employed for the purpose of radically changing the condition of the tree. The intention of lopping is, therefore, to make more drastic changes to the tree and thus remove a far larger portion of the branches or canopy than would be done in a pruning job.
In practice the differences between pruning and lopping are vast. The differences in purpose and intention mean that the results of each service are drastically different and they should be employed for entirely different circumstances. The result is that a tree pruning service should be done regularly to encourage the health and growth of your tree. Lopping, by contrast, should not be done regularly and should only be applied when the condition of the tree needs to be radically transformed.
What’s the difference between a Lopper and an Arborist?
It’s helpful to understand the differences between lopping and pruning when speaking with a tree service professional. As mentioned above, tree lopping is not a solution to be used regularly. Instead, it is an emergency approach used to drastically alter a tree. Due to the nature of this process, it often fails to meet Australian Pruning Standards. For this reason, many tree surgeons dislike being referred to as ‘Loppers’ because of the association with practices that don’t meet professional standards. Instead, experts who offer arborist services like tree care, tree trimming, stump removal and tree removal are known as professional arborists.
When do trees need lopping?
If you need a tree works to job done – such as tree removals, a tree chipping service or tree stump removal – it is likely that there will be some tree lopping involved in the tree removal process. Our process to remove trees ensures the highest safety standards by lopping large and dangerous branches before felling trees. Not only can this improve the safety of the process, but it can also speed up the cleanup and reduce the potential for disrupting the surrounding environment.
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If your trees need care, we have the services you need. Whether you require maintenance, emergency call outs, wood chipping, stump grinding, fresh mulch or overhanging branches lopped, we are the team to call. Before you decide on lopping your trees, we highly recommend looking at the other tree care services that we offer. Our tree specialists always advise that you have your trees assessed by professionals. Our arborist work team can determine the safety and condition of your trees through tree hazard assessments or arborist reports. This type of job can help you to make an informed choice about what action to take with the trees on your property. If your trees are in good condition our experts may suggest a pruning strategy such as weight reduction to help improve their health and stability. If our team concludes that your trees have become unsafe, then complete tree removal may be required.