History of "Topping Off" The practice of "topping off" a new building can be traced to the ancient Scandinavian religious practice of placing a tree on the top of a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits of their ancestors that had been displaced. The practice migrated to England with Scandinavian invaders and took root there. Today, a non-religious but formal ceremony is often held to commemorate this milestone in the construction of a building. All tradesman on the job usually join in the celebration as well as the supervisors, representatives of the architecture and engineering firms, the owner or representatives of the owning organization, donors, and any VIPs that are invited. While the ceremony itself has no standard agenda, it usually includes the placing of an evergreen tree upon the structure to symbolize growth and bring luck.