Crown Reduction

What is Tree Crown Reduction?

Crown reduction tree surgery is a form of pruning to reduce the overall weight and size of a tree without significantly changing the shape. This is often done to get rid of damaged, diseased or dead branches. It can also be undertaken to prevent the tree interfering with telephone and power lines, encourage more fruit growth on fruit trees, or simply decrease size and minimise the amount of shade.

Tree crown reduction does not greatly reduce the risk of a tree being blown over in storms or heavy winds. If this is your aim, then you should  consider crown thinning or, if the situation is urgent, please get in touch for emergency tree work.

Crown pruning a tree can cause stress, so it’s important to hire qualified arboriculturalists like Orchard Tree Surgery to complete the work. The amount of cut-back taking place will depend on the tree species and location, and the tree crown shouldn’t be reduced so far that it causes a great amount of stress. Over pruning in this way can increase the chances of disease and decay in your tree, and can even cause quicker growth back to the tree’s original size. In general, tree crown reduction and pruning shouldn’t remove more than 30% of the crown, and will often remove much less.

Tree topping – cutting off the entire top of the tree – is sometimes seen instead of tree crown reduction, but this is inadvisable as it can cause permanent disfiguration and lead to rotting. A responsible tree surgeon will not offer this as an option because of the high risk of permanent damage.

Which Trees can be Reduced?

Crown reduction is not suitable for all trees. When you get in touch with us, we will be able to confirm the species of tree and let you know if it can be reduced. We will be able to recommend other services if crown reduction is not appropriate.

Trees such as ash, maple, willow and sycamore can tolerate crown reductions fairly well and will usually have no issue with a pruning that follows relevant guidelines. Other common UK trees such as beech, oak and cherry need to be treated more carefully and can only cope with a small crown reduction.

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