The old method of tree topping is no longer recommended by horticulturists and other professionals in the field, such as the National Arbor Day Foundation, The International Society of Arboriculture, and the National Arborist Association. Tree topping or “rounding over” can lead to decay, disease, insects, fungi, and may threaten the life of the tree. Weakened trees are more likely to break during wind, ice, and snow storms.
Lateral, or natural trimming is the method used by line crews in most utilities. Lateral trimming is utilized by BrightRidge. The name “lateral” is derived from the method of cutting branches back to natural strong points on the tree, such as the juncture of the trunk and major limbs. Re-growth occurs with lateral trimming; however, branches tend to grow away from power lines and profuse sprouting of new limbs into power lines is avoided.