Another tree question


Old 05-15-05, 01:58 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 39
Another tree question

Hi folks,

My home is situated on a hill side with a street and other homes directly above it. The new neighbors who purchased a home behind me have approached me and suggested I top my fir trees inorder to give them a view of the straight of georgia they even went so far as to say they'd be willing to pay for it. The problem is that if I top them enough to give them a view it will likely kill them.

They recently employed an aborist to clean up their yard and they asked him about topping them. He said like others in this forum not to. But he suggested that if they wanted a view they could get me to cut a window in the trees so they could see through it. This whole concept was new to me and I was wondering if anyone has done it or even heard of it and what the effect on the tree would be?

Another arborist they spoke to said that the trees could be spiral cut which if done properly would give them a view and allow more light into my yard. I am in favor of doing it this way but once again what effect's would it have on the tree and how soon should I expect to have to have the cut parts redone?

Any help in deciding which way to "safely" go about it would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-15-05, 02:43 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Bucks Co.
Posts: 179
I'll leave the real question to the experts but I will give you this tip, Make sure you are home when they do the work. If your not around they could go over board. By the time you see it, it will be to late.

I Kinda have the same problem but for other reasons, I tried for years now to get my neighbor to thin out some tree's so I can get satelite installed. The trees in their yard are so tall it impossible for the satelite to work, but they said no, but nicely. I understand being they like the woodesy look of their yard. I can live with it beside there is always cable.

On the other hand, on the other side of my house. A new owner just bought some land and put up a nice big house. We don't talk much and I like it that way. While he was having the house built he seemed like the nicest guy. He had a very nice single house built, and it cost some big bucks. Ends up and I will be as nice as possible, he is a real dirt bag. Junk ever where in his yard, has like 4 junker cars, had all his trees cut down to make his yard bigger but they been laying there for a year now and the weeds are thick now you can't even see the dead trees and on top of all that he'll be lucky if he cuts the grass twice a year.

Belive me I planted a bunch of the fastest growing tree out there along my property line and they can't grow fast enough
Old 05-15-05, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
There is a lot of knowledge and skill involved in pruning trees so as to enhance their value, open the canopy, raise or lower the canopy. Topping trees is a really bad thing to do. Spiral cutting the canopy can open the canopy somewhat, but may not give them what they want with just a less dense canopy. This will be tedious, exacting work.

I would look at it this way: Whichever arborist that is selected to do the job needs to have three jobs of the same work for you to review to be sure of the results. There needs to be a contract that spells out exactly what work will be done, how it will be done, and what the results will be and how to determine that these results have been achieved. The arborist needs to be bonded and insured. Despite the fact that he will be paid by them, he is working for you. If he ruins the trees, they are ruined forever. The cost of this project is trivial compared to their desire to have a view that did not come with the property initially. You should select the arborist to perform the work. If they balk at any of this, walk away.

You did not say what kind of trees these are.

I would be inclined to say no.
Old 05-17-05, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Tree topping is absolutely NOT something to be done. Opening canopy and pruning is a temporary fix. Trees grow and will fill in and the pruning will have to be done again. And, remember, the expense is yours.

I am sorry, but if they were my trees (I'm passionate about them!), I would not touch them if they are healthy and in a good location in the landscape and do not have overhanging branches on your home. As you did not indicate the species, it is difficult to tell you how they should be properly pruned. Mother Nature had a plan for the proper growth of these trees in order for them to grow majestically to maturity. It's not nice to mess with Mother Nature.

Pruning can be beneficial at times for certain species. For instance, if you have maples, then removing dead branches and selectively removing certain branches can open up the tree to greater air circulation and sunlight and allow more sunlight on your lawn. But, if you have a row of spruces, pines, or other evergreens pruning to alter their growth pattern is something that is not desirable or aesthetic.

As indicated, if you hire someone to prune your trees, it should be someone who knows what they are doing. It's the year here that the power company is pruning the neighbors' trees away from power lines. Yes, they don't have a clue about how to prune and have no respect for the dignity and the beauty of trees. They simply saw the top off them. The trees are hideous and all new growth will be weak and brittle. The trees are now under major stress and the root ratio has been shocked. Such stress can send trees into a state of decline and subject them to disease and insects. Trees that interfere with power lines should be removed and not disfigured.

If you hire someone to prune trees, make sure they are licensed and insured. They need worker's compensation insurance in case they get hurt on your property and they need liability insurance in case they hurt your property.

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