Plant Identification
Q.

What type of tree and can I cut top off

Zone Cape Town | Feezer added on November 4, 2016 | Answered

See attached photos. What type of tree is this? Also, can I cut off the top canopy where the leaves are bushy to encourage left growth further down as very sparse in the middle? Need for privacy screen. Thanks, Fiona.

A.
A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
Alisma
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 6, 2016

I am not sure what type of tree it is. If you have any fruit, seeds, or flowers from this tree available to photograph, that would help with the ID.

Cutting off the main, growing stem at the top of a tree is called topping, and it is damaging and unhealthy for trees:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/tree-topping-information.htm

However, you can prune the tree (or hire a professional to prune it) using other techniques to encourage better growth:

http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/pruning-trees-shrubs/
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/pruning.shtml

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