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The original item was published from 3/22/2023 2:04:20 PM to 4/20/2023 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: March 22, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Please Don’t Top Your Tree!

arborist trimming tree wearing safety equipment

The City of White Rock is reminding residents of healthy ways to properly maintain trees ahead of gardening season and advising against tree topping.

Tree topping is when tree branches are cut to stubs and leads to a negative impact to the tree, not just altering the appearance of a tree. Tree topping is the most harmful way of cutting a tree.  

Negative effects of tree topping include:

  • Stress and shock to trees.
  • Branches are exposed to sunburn.
  • Destroys the natural form of a tree.
  • Leads to decay and issues with pests.

The topping of trees is prohibited under the City of White Rock’s Tree Protection Bylaw, Bylaw No. 2407 (PDF) and can result in fines up to $10,000 per tree.

The City of White Rock recommends hiring a Certified Arborist for pruning all trees. Find a Certified Arborist at, a site created by the International Society of Arboriculture for quality tree care.

Examples of tree topping: