In our old neighborhood our next door neighbors had their trees topped. They looked like this:
This is what my husband had in mind for trimming our little plum tree. He said the trees grew back and looked fine after a year or too. I have looked into the matter, and have found that although this used to be a popular way to treat trees, many arborists now say "Don't!". They have found that "topping" a tree is unhealthy for the tree and that often it's the beginning of the end for the tree.
They say people tend to do it "because the neighbors did it" which is exactly my husband's reasoning. I have also read that some people do this to their trees because they feel a need to "control nature". I think my husband has a bit of that too, because he tends to think that naturally shaped trees and shrubs "look messy".
Still, I admit that sometimes some trimming or pruning is appropriate, if there are dead branches or if the tree is leaning on a house or contacting power lines. But it is important that this be done by a trained and certified arborist, not any guy who comes along with a truck and a chain saw. So, I will try to talk my husband into canceling the guy who came yesterday and contact a reputable arborist. That seems like a reasonable compromise to me.
By the way, while doing my tree research I found a new phobia of which I had not been aware: dendrophobia, or fear of trees.
I have found some pretty weird images that illustrate this fear:
Pretty weird, aren't they? I guess sometimes people cut them down because they are afraid of them? That seems like a crime to me. I regard a tree as a living thing and it breaks my heart to see them cut down. I see trees more like this:
I would never want to live in a place without trees. When I look at houses, the trees are as important to me as the floor plan or anything else. I cringe when I see mcmansions being built on lots without a tree to be found. I would rather live in a tiny cottage with trees all around. I guess I could be classified as a "tree hugger".