Safety around large trees is important. Cutting heavy branches seems to make sense. But in the long run, the trees become even more hazardous to people and property when trees are topped.
It would seem removing the weight off the top of a tree, it would make the tree safer.
Actually, by topping a tree, you are creating weak crotch angles that can lead to dead tops and broken branches. Also, these large open cuts will almost never close up leading to trunk rot and insect infestation.
The following fact sheet highlights proper pruning and wound care:
When trees are cut way back like crabapples, multiple suckers will result. Or in this case, a Honeylocust.
In a woodlot, trees tend to shade each other’s bottom branches, which naturally leads to better growth structure and healthier trees.
Tree pruning is important to the health of trees and the landscape. Trees that could fall on power lines need to be thinned. Trimming around power lines should be done by experience professionals that know the hazards and how to avoid them. The following article highlights the hazards of tree trimming near power lines.
Trees and Power Lines: How close is too close?
As always, choosing a professional with International Society of Arborists (ISA)
ensures quality pruning and healthier, safer trees.
If you chose to prune yourself, the following PDF by the US Forest Service is a good resource:
In addition, the article highlights the dangers of topping and tipping and why it is bad for tree health.
Happy and safe pruning!