Can you top a hickory tree and not kill it?
Yes, if you wait until time starts going back, then the sap will be down, and you can top it then with out killing it. be sure to cut at a diagonal, so the rain will run off your fresh cuts, and not start holes into the tree itself, there for damaging the tree.
Co- Owner of Camp Tree Service
A hickory tree produces nuts that can be eaten alone or used in various recipes. If the nuts are collected, a hickory tree can be enjoyed for many years. However, if the nuts are left on the ground, they can create a nuisance for the homeowner. Getting your hickory tree to stop producing nuts is done in the same manner as halting fruit production on a fruit tree.
The smallest, ending part of a branch to a hickory tree [Carya spp] and a means by which the tree may be identified in winter are what a hickory twig is. When the tree is leafed out, the twig has leaves growing out of alternating leaf buds up and down its sides. It's also the location of the tree's flower and fruit.