Tree pruning may be necessary to maintain a tree in a safe condition, to remove dead branches, to promote growth, to regulate size and shape or to improve the quality of flowers, fruit or timber. Improper pruning can lead to trees becoming unsightly, diseased and/or potentially dangerous.
There are various ways in which a tree can be pruned (the terms we use are crown reductions, crown thinning, crown lifting or dead-wooding). Every case is individual and we will advise you of the most appropriate action upon viewing each tree.
The reduction in height and/or spread of the crown (the foliage bearing portions) of a tree. Crown reduction may be used to reduce mechanical stress on individual branches or the whole tree, make the tree more suited to its immediate environment or to reduce the effects of shading and light loss, etc.
The final result should retain the main framework of the crown, and so a significant proportion of the leaf bearing structure, and leave a similar, although smaller outline, and not necessarily achieve symmetry for its own sake.
Crown thinning is the removal of a portion of smaller/tertiary branches, usually at the outer crown, to produce a uniform density of foliage around an evenly spaced branch structure. It is usually confined to broad-leaved species. Crown thinning does not alter the overall size or shape of the tree. Material should be removed systematically throughout the tree, should not exceed the stated percentage and not more than 30% overall. Common reasons for crown thinning are to allow more light to pass through the tree, reduce wind resistance, reduce weight (but this does not necessarily reduce leverage on the structure) and is rarely a once-only operation particularly on species that are known to produce large amounts of epicormic growth.
Crown lifting involves the removal of lower branches with the end result being to lift the height of the base of the crown. This may be carried out to increase the clearance between the ground and the lower branches in order to allow access below the tree for pedestrians of vehicles or to increase light transmission to areas closer to the tree or to enable access under the crown.