Covering All Aspects of Landscaping and Tree Work
An expert guide to crown lifting your trees
What is crown lifting?
Crown lifting is the term used for the removal of the lower branches of a tree. In effect, it raises the lowest part of the tree to increase the clearance between the base branches and the ground. It’s the method used for lifting a tree canopy that’s a little too low for purpose.
The benefits are many: it increases access below the tree’s canopy, clears sightlines, improves views of the area and its surroundings, and allows more light and air to penetrate the ground, improving the health of the tree and surrounding plants.
Why is crown lifting important?
For trees at the sides of roads or next to driveways and footpaths in gardens, parks, and public areas, removing the lower branches creates the clearance needed for traffic to pass by safely and for pedestrians to walk beneath.
Removing a tree’s furthest reaching low branches also helps to keep them clear of any houses or buildings they’re growing close to.
Apart from promoting the health of the tree, lifting the crown will let in more light, as well as opening up inhibited views, creating better visual lines around the property or estate. It also allows for better wind circulation around the tree, reducing the likelihood of broken branches, windthrow, or windsnap.
Another benefit to your tree’s health is that the energy resources it taps into will be redirected to other parts of the tree. This can invigorate the higher branches, strengthen the trunk, and breathe life into less healthy areas of the structure.
How we successfully crown lift your trees
For most trees, the ideal state is to have around half of the foliage in the lower two-thirds of the tree. This means that when pruning your trees, you should be careful not to remove all of the major branches on the lower sections.
Being careful to keep a good selection of the smaller branches where larger ones have been removed will help protect the tree from exposure, minimising injury and damage. It will also help with the closure of the new pruning wounds.
It’s a good idea to leave those smaller branches in place for at least a year, allowing plenty of time for the tree to heal and adjust to its new shape.
1. We assess your tree
We’re happy to work on any trees in Suffolk and the East Anglia region. We’ll examine your tree to decide how far up the tree trunk your lift needs to go.
It may need only a simple trim of a few branches or the complete removal of a selection of the lower layers. It all depends on the reasons behind the reduction, the access required, and any limitations of the existing canopy.
2. Our next step is reducing and removing the necessary bottom branches
The lowest branches are removed first, using a wood saw to create clean, damage-free cuts.
A tip for amateur arborists is to first cut a third of the way through from the underside and finish the cut from the top. By doing it that way, you reduce the chance of the branch’s weight ripping it from the tree, creating the type of damage you want to avoid.
Removing heavy branches is better off carried out in stages. Start at the tip of the branch, removing a third at a time; reducing the weight before the final cut helps to minimise the stress on the tree while reducing tearing and damage.
3. All of our cuts are clean and angled correctly
We slightly angle each of our cuts to make sure that any water runs off smoothly. We also leave a small 5mm gap between the pruned branch and the tree trunk. This helps wounds heal cleanly and correctly, and prevents unnecessary damage to the trunk.
4. It’s necessary to monitor progress, to attain the shape you want
With a good idea of the shape that we’d like your adjusted tree to take, we frequently take a few steps back to see how our work is progressing. We want your newly pruned tree to look balanced and healthy, with visually pleasing lines, and a sensible structure.
As experts in our field, we know precisely what it takes to give you the physical and visual access you need while maintaining the structural integrity of your trees.
Key areas of concern when carrying out crown lifting
Potential damage to the tree trunk
If too many branches are removed at a time, then there’s a chance that this can lead to serious damage to the tree’s trunk.
It may sound a little odd, but an over pruned tree trunk could be in danger of sunburn.
An over-pruned tree can also lead to discolouration in the wood, or possible decay forming from the inside. In some instances, it could result in epicormic shoots and growth, forcing the tree to grow taller.
Have you got a tree that needs a lift?
With our headquarters in Newmarket, we cover tree surgery and gardening work all over Suffolk and throughout East Anglia. We’d love to help bring any ageing trees back to their prime or clean up those that have lost their ideal lines or structural balance.
Domestic or commercial, we’re ready and waiting to bring your gardens to life—why not give us a call today, to see how we can help?