Metro News

Pruning Vs Lopping: Which Does Your Tree Need?

  • Written by Metropolitan Digital

When it comes to tree care, understanding the different techniques and when to apply them is essential. Two methods often used by tree services and arborists are pruning and lopping. This article will explain the differences between these techniques and guide you to determine which your tree might need.

Understanding Pruning

Pruning is a selective process where specific branches or stems are removed for the overall benefit of the tree. An arborist typically carries out this process to improve the tree's health, promote growth, and enhance its aesthetic appeal.

Health Improvement

Pruning eliminates dead, diseased, or insect-infested branches, preventing the spread of decay and disease. It also allows more sunlight to reach the inner foliage, improving the tree's overall health.

Growth Control

By selectively trimming branches, an arborist can control a tree's growth direction. It is particularly important in urban or suburban environments where trees might threaten buildings or power lines.

Aesthetic Appeal

Pruning can help maintain a tree's shape and appearance, enhancing the overall aesthetic of your landscape.

Understanding Lopping

Lopping, often called 'tree topping', involves removing large sections of the top of a tree or main branches. It's a more drastic measure usually employed when the tree poses a danger to its surroundings.

Hazard Reduction

If a tree becomes too large and threatens nearby structures, lopping can be used to reduce its size and its potential hazards.

View Clearance

Tree lopping is sometimes performed to clear views obstructed by overgrown trees.

However, it's essential to note that lopping should be a last resort as it can stress the tree and lead to poor health or structure. A professional tree service should always carry out this process.

Pruning Vs Lopping: Which Does Your Tree Need?

Whether your tree needs pruning or lopping often depends on its health and location.

Consult an Arborist

An arborist in Perth can assess your tree and suggest the best approach. Pruning might be recommended if the tree is healthy and needs some upkeep. However, lopping could be necessary if the tree poses a potential danger or has become significantly overgrown.


In summary, pruning and lopping are important tools in tree care, but a tree's specific needs should determine their use. Pruning is generally beneficial for the tree's health and aesthetics and is a routine part of tree maintenance. On the other hand, lopping should be reserved for situations with a potential risk, and it should always be performed by a professional tree service to minimise harm to the tree. Consulting an arborist will help ensure your tree receives the appropriate care to thrive in its environment.

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