When it comes to actual trees in nature, there is pruning, which can lead to healthy and immense growth and then there is topping.
Topping a tree, where the top of a tree is lobbed off can remove up to 100% of the leaf-bearing crown. These leaves function as food for the tree, so their removal leaves the tree to take desperate action of trying to create new growth quickly. If the tree's energy stores are low, topping can have grave consequences for the tree.
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How are you like a tree? What is the difference for you between pruning and topping?
Consider your practice challenge:
What did your energy stores look like? Where did the real learning take place?