• Canopy Reduction

  • You’re probably here because you have a tree or trees that have grown too large and are now starting to become a safety hazard or are no longer aesthetically pleasing. Issues arise when a tree starts to interfere with overhead power lines, telephone lines or neighbouring buildings.

    What is tree canopy reduction?

    Sometimes you will hear people refer to the same thing as reducing, pruning, canopy thinning, a tree reduction or even tree topping. We can solve your tree problems using a technique known as canopy reduction. Canopy reduction pruning reduces the length of tree branches and their many stems. Depending on the tree species, regrowth can occur quickly, and so regular trimming may be required to keep it under control. So, what does crown reduction mean? It is simply, a term used by arborists like ourselves to describe controlling the size of a tree by cutting branches to decrease tree height whilst maintaining the shape of the crown. The crown is everything above ground excluding the trunk.

    Simon and his team have over 15 years of experience and have carried out tree canopy reduction countless times. Experience and knowledge is key to a successful job so that your objectives are achieved without damaging the tree (although sometimes this is unavoidable – we’ll tell you first when we survey the job).

    When should you do canopy reduction?

    Of course, clever planting by matching the right species to the space can avoid the need for pruning. We can advise you on this but too often we see large trees in small places. Storms often break large trees and thinning tree canopies helps to avoid this destructive problem. Reducing tree canopy size to avoid storm damage is much easier than the clear up after a storm when this hasn’t been done. Aside from the canopy issues, the roots can also cause issues to roads and driveways.

    Crown reduction to increase light is another reason to consider reducing tree canopy size and thinning tree canopies can certainly achieve this.

    How is canopy reduction done?

    Reduction is best achieved by cutting limbs back where they start or back to a lateral branch capable of sustaining the weight of the remaining limb. One way to measure this and a common rule of thumb is to make sure that the remaining branch must be at least one third of the diameter of the removed limb. There is a ‘this depends’ element to this approach because the tree species, age, and condition of the tree all play an important part in assessing where the cuts are made. If any sub-optimal cuts are necessary, we can explain any repercussions to you.

    Tree topping v canopy reduction

    Tree topping is not the same thing as canopy reduction. Tree topping removes all of the top growth of a tree which can substantially weaken it and sometimes will kill it. Beware the cheap ‘tree surgeon’ who promises reduction but actually carries out topping instead. Of course, it is sometimes necessary in the case of a dead or severely diseased tree. Any professional tree surgeon will let you know when and why topping is a necessary option.

    For more information and to book us for your tree canopy reduction, please call us on 01280 814447.

    Green Trees Ltd are professional tree surgeons and arborists based in Buckingham near Milton Keynes.

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