Q.If I Top A 10′ Hornbeam Will It Invite Disease, Insects, And Rot To The Open Wound?
Wanting to pleach a row of hornbeams. But they must be topped. Will this harm the tree unless the open trunk end is dressed in some way. And how could that be done?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It carries quite the risk, and sealing it, actually, increases that risk. All around, it is not a good idea to top them, arbitrarily, after they have already grown to that height, unless you are familiar with the process, or have extra trees on hand to replace any that do succumb to disease.
If you must top them, and you are confident that you can do so and sufficiently clean the wound- Do so when the temperatures are mild. This will offer the least amount of stress.