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Cut Down or Prune (CA)

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From: Jim Hook
PG&E has crews going all over Northern California removing or trimming trees that could fall onto power lines and start a wildfire. I have a healthy, beautiful 3-trunk black oak that they want to cut down. A potential alternative to make it not a hazard to the power lines would be to cut the top 15 ft off of all three trunks, about 1/3rd of their height. Is that better for the tree than cutting it down completely or will that eventually kill it anyway?

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Hi Jim:

Topping is not a practice endorsed by the International Society of Arboriculture. With that said, I would strongly encourage you to contact a local and respected certified arborist in your area who is willing to provide you with an independent, third-party opinion regarding your options with this black oak!

Best of luck!

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