Tree Mutilation Gets Chop From Standards Australia


"Lopping, topping and flushcutting are unacceptable practices" said Standards Australia in their recent publication "Pruning of Amenity Trees."

This new standard AS4373 was released on May 6, 1996 and copies can be purchased from Standards Australia.

The standard gives clear definitions of all pruning terms along with clear diagrams and descriptions of each type of pruning.

It states "Lopping or topping is the cutting of branches or stems between branch unions or at internodes on young trees. This is an unacceptable practice because:

(a) It increases the rate of shoot production and elongation.

(b) The resulting regrowth is weakly attached and becomes prone to failure or collapse.

(c) The stubs may decay.

(d) The natural habitat of the tree is destroyed.

(e) It may reduce the lifespan of the tree.

(f) It predisposes trees to fungal infections and insect attack."

Roy Cody
Roy Cody

This standard is going to cause city councils and electricity authorities all over Australia to carefully examine what they are doing. Tree workers who continue lopping trees run the risk of being sued if branches fail in the future.

The selection of the species of trees to plant in streets, parks, school and house yards is now of vital importance. Tree owners, in future years, could find they are not covered by insurance if they have their trees lopped and the tree later falls, damaging persons or property.

Roy's Tree Service has been pruning in accordance with this new standard for more than three years.

Roy Cody is an active member of the National Arborists Association of Australia, the organisation of amenity tree professionals, dedicated to the promotion of high quality tree care in Australia.

Roy has been like a lone crusader in the Tamworth, north-west and Hunter regions where lopping has been the popular way of addressing the problem of wrong selection of species.

His tree surgery displays have won recognition around the north-west. In two Tamworth Shows his displays have won first and third ribbons. In three Gunnedah Shows, Roy has won the Grand Champion ribbon for the best trade display.

Last year Roy published a 28 page booklet, Trees - Simple Advice on Tree Care from a Local Tree Surgeon. He received much favourable comment from his collegues for his ability to write informative articles that the lay person can read, enjoy and learn from at the same time.

Copies of the book can be obtained from Roys online store for $10 including GST. Free postage within Australia.