Question: How much can I cut my shade tree back? It’s too tall for where it’s growing.

Answer: That sounds dangerously like “topping” a shade tree. If any plant is too big for its available space, you need to consider either moving it or removing it entirely. That’s doubly true with shade trees, because cutting them back repeatedly to keep them in bounds will result in distorted growth and ruined shape. The tree will never achieve its genetic potential. Fortunately, topping trees like mimosas and fruitless mulberries is almost unheard of today compared to a generation ago. Of course, if you needed to remove one errant limb that had grown out of the tree’s basic canopy toward the roof of your house, you could certainly do that.

Back To Top