Covering All Aspects of Landscaping and Tree Work
An arborist’s guide to crown reduction
What is crown reduction?
Crown reduction is a pruning operation that involves reducing the height and spread of the tree’s crown or canopy. It reduces stress on individual branches and the tree as a whole.
It also reduces the effects of shading and light loss, and improves visibility around the tree, introducing more light and space to its surroundings.
A skilled tree surgeon will improve the aesthetic of your tree, leaving it with a neat and tidy, controlled, natural shape.
Why is crown reduction important?
This type of pruning reduces the weight of potentially dangerous and heavy branches (or limbs as they’re also known).
It can also be used to contain trees that have grown beyond their limits, or to a point where they’re intruding into the property, obstructing light passage, or even causing damage to buildings and property.
We have been asked to carry out reductions and reshapes to trees that have been unprofessionally pruned and cut back—restoring the original, attractive lines of the tree.
The same method of reshaping is often used for trees that have lost branches due to storm damage.
When should you carry out crown reduction?
When a tree appears to have grown out of control, if it’s overpowering its location, and especially if it’s blocking out light or interfering with telephone or power cables—it’s time to tidy things up. The following are key reasons to carry out a reduction.
- If a tree is too large for its location, but you don’t want to remove the tree completely.
- When stability has become an option due to ground problems, unsecured roots, or too much weight.
- To redress balance problems brought on by uneven growth or loss of branches through damage.
- To reduce debris, twig and small branch drop during autumn and winter. A well-timed reduction can reduce the amount of clearance work in public car parks and thoroughfares lined with trees, as well as preventing damage to cars and vehicles.
- To reshape trees back to classic lines.
Most trees prefer pruning to be carried out over the colder, winter months. Depending on the type of tree, it could be preferable to reduce a tree during late autumn to early winter, for others at the tail end of the winter months or early spring. Our expert tree surgeons know precisely the right time to carry out the work for each species of tree.
How we successfully reduce your trees
Taking too much of your tree’s foliage and length from its branches at once isn’t good practice. We suggest a 30% volume reduction is the maximum you should carry out. If possible, work can be split into 2 sessions as much as a year apart, to allow the tree to adjust without causing too much stress to its growth.
A professional reduction delivers cuts that leave much of the foliage intact yet still draws the outer edge of the tree back to its original or required shape and size. The best crown reductions reveal few signs of pruning on completion.
1. We assess your tree
We adhere to strict guidelines to keep all trees healthy and happy. We never take so much off that your tree will suffer. It requires a specific amount of foliage to deliver the nutrients it needs through photosynthesis, so with that in mind, we only remove what’s healthy for your tree.
2. Our next step is reducing and removing the outer edges of appropriate branches
The first branches we remove are those that have become damaged or died during bad weather or other issues. With any misaligned, rotten, or dead branches taken care of, we then attend to the longest branches, carefully taking them back far enough to reduce the spread of the canopy without leaving ugly stumps and heavy lines.
3. All of our cuts are carried out to maintain the health and integrity of your tree
The diameter of the cuts should never be more than 30% of the largest part of the branch. We try to stay as close to the tips of the branches wherever possible, while still removing as much as we need to create a healthy tree of an ideal shape.
4. It’s necessary to monitor progress, to attain the shape you want
To attain the striking results you want, it’s important to regularly monitor progress, making sure we’re heading in the right direction throughout the process. Regular monitoring from a short distance is the best way to ensure our work follows a balanced pattern, avoiding bad cut choices that could spoil the integrity of our work.
Our professional and skilled tree surgeons are some of the best in the Newmarket area; you can be confident that your trees are in the safest hands possible. We work for a range of organisations throughout East Anglia, so if you’d like to see examples of our work, we’d be happy to point you towards some of our most recent applications.
Key areas of concern when carrying out crown reduction
Over-pruning trees can be dangerous to their health. When carried out incorrectly, or over-excessively, it can initiate decay within the trunk or branches, or stimulate epicormic growth that attempts to fill the canopy to readdress a vast loss in size.
Signs of a poorly-performed reduction include easily visible, stubby branches, large cuts, and an irregular shape around the canopy. A professional reduction should have smooth, natural lines, evenly distributed foliage, and a classic look and style for that particular type of tree.
Have you got a tree that needs reducing?
Working out of Newmarket in East Anglia, we carry out commercial and domestic work for both private clients and public organisations. We travel all over Suffolk to bring outgrown trees back under control, delivering them back to the beautiful shape that compliments your landscapes.
Our award-winning team works to defined industry standards. We’re always more than happy to recommend alternative solutions where we think they’ll be more appropriate to your project, delivering better results, or more cost-effective solutions.