When it comes to tree pruning, many believe that it simply involves removing a few branches that are either in the way or pose a threat to those walking past. In short, it does involve removing branches, however, it’s more so to do with the precise removal of certain branches in order to bring about the desired outcome. The most common types of tree pruning services include crown lifting, crown thinning and crown reduction. In this article, we will explore all the beforementioned styles.
Before continuing on, it’s important to note that when we refer to the ‘crown’ of the tree, we’re referring to all the branches, leaves and reproductive structures that extend from the trunk or the main stems.
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Crown lifting is a technique that involves cutting back the lower branches of the crown. It’s used quite often when trying to provide clearance over paths or roads. Depending on the size of the lower branches, crown lifting may cause adverse reactions to the tree if too many branches are removed.
An important thing to consider with crown lifting is leaving clear the steams that are more than one-third of the tree’s total height. The lower branches are important in stabilising the tree as it sways during high winds.
Thinning the crown (crown thinning) comprises of the removal of specific branches throughout the crown so that the overall shape of the crown is not dramatically impacted upon. Crown thinning is a popular option for when wanting to increase the air circulation throughout the crown.
When crown thinning, do try to remove the small diameter branches. As we mentioned earlier, avoid removing too many branches from the crown’s centre. You don’t want to have a tree with a poor structure.
Crown reduction is achieved by reducing the overall size of the crown. It involves shortening the branches by cutting them back to a suitable growth point. Quite often, crown reduction will be used when a tree becomes overgrown and no longer fits in its own space. Due to the large wounds caused by crown reduction, we generally recommend it as a last resort.
With crown reduction, take a lot of care in trying to maintain the natural shape of the tree. Topping, which is poor practice, is a term given when a substandard crown reduction job has been carried out.