Don't Do This to Your Trees!
For me, it is a no brainer. It is almost haunting to see a beautiful and majestic tree that has been brutally mistreated. Stubbed. I liken it to cutting one's arms off at the shoulder or elbow and expecting them to thrive.
It sounds harsh, I know, but think about it.
What are you actually doing to that beauty in nature that has provided so much and asked for so little?
WHY OH WHY would you want to do this to your trees?
Often times we rely on Tree Services to know what they are doing, and they generally will do what you ask. Reputable and Expert Tree Services will educate you, by telling you proper methods. They will NOT stub a tree even by your request.
As a homeowner, you have the advantage by educating yourself and directing the cuts necessary to preserve your investment.
Every terminal cut yields abundant lateral buds which over time lead to congested growth and a need for more cutting. See the effect on the tree below that has been stubbed over and over. It isn't pretty.
When you start pruning your young trees,
cut any branches that are crossing each other (let the prominent branch) or growing back toward the center of the tree. Cut it from the main trunk or branch, not leaving a stub. This practice promotes a healthy and strong tree. Never cut more than a third of the entire tree at one time. If needed, do it in phases from year to year, thus allowing it to recover in between.
When you cut and leave a stub, no matter what age your tree is, that stub rots and invites pests and disease.
When you make flush cuts along the main trunk or branch, the cut compartmentalizes. No need to apply tar or sealer. The tree heals itself by growing a layer of bark right over the flush wound. That is natures way.