To maintain the safe condition of a tree it may be necessary to remove dead branches, regulate shape and size, promote growth, improving the quality of fruit, flowers or timber, this is known as pruning. If trees are not pruned correctly or just left without pruning then they can become, diseased, dangerous and at the very least unsightly.
It is important to understand the terminology used by tree surgeons in order to ask and understand exactly what it is you want or what the tree surgeon is suggesting any why. There are three main pruning terms used and we will go into brief detail what each of them mean.
Main Pruning Definitions
Crown Thin –This is where a portion of small branches, usually from the outer crown, are removed to leave the tree with an evenly spaced branch structure and an even density of foliage around each branch. This is mainly used on the broad-leaved species of tree. Believe it or not crown thinning will not change the overall size or shape of the tree. Trees will require crown thinning to allow more light to pass through, reduce wind resistance and reduce the weight.
Crown Lift/Crown Raising – This is the removal of the lowest branches, although large branches growing directly from the tree trunk should not be removed as it can cause large wounds to the tree and cause it to decay creating instability and further problems in the future. Crown lifting should not be performed on older trees, or at least restricted to the shortening of primary branches wherever possible. Crown Lifting will allow better light transmission and allow access to underneath the tree crown. When asking for crown lifting it is important to specify how far above ground level you require the crown to be lifted.
Crown Reduction – This is the reduction of the height and spread of the crown of the tree. This is usually done to reduce stress on individual branches or the tree as a whole, allow the tree to fit in better with its surroundings and reduce the effects of shading and loss of light. The tree will still keep the main framework of the crown; however, it will be smaller. Crown reduction cuts should be kept as small as possible, and where possible exact measurements of what you would like the finished tree to be should be provided.
Not all tree species are suitable for this type of treatment so its important to check with a professional first.