Why I must be careful of asking for a Crown Reduction?
Reducing canopy size stresses the tree because of the cuts required. Unlike a thinning cut, a drop-crotching cut does not cut back to a natural boundary, this means that decay can spread quickly inside cut branches, for this reason it is best not to perform crown reduction if at all possible.
In many instances, canopies cannot be properly reduced in size to the extent desired and certain species (such as Beech) do not lend themselves to crown reduction. Over pruning of the trees to create the desired effect can initiate decay in the trunk or branches, and stimulate rapid epicormic growth that fills in the canopy as it quickly grows to it’s original size. Removal and replacement with a smaller maturing plant may be the choice that minimise the input of resources. When a customer wishes to reduce the height, and carefully considered the impact this will have on their trees health, 'crown reducing' is much preferred to 'topping'.
What tree work is recommended to reduce the chances of storm damage?
Crown reduction should not be used to reduce the chances of the tree blowing over in a storm. Crown Thinning is the preferred method to minimise storm damage of an otherwise structurally sound tree. Crown reduction can be considered when the root system of a large maturing tree has substantial decay making it potentially hazardous or on a tree with a high rating.
How is crown reduction achieved?
The objective is to make cuts so that the foliage is left intact on the outer edge of the new, smaller canopy ideally, pruning cuts should not be evident when you stand back from the tree after pruning.
I want a smaller tree, how much foliage can be removed?
We would recommend when removing more than 30% of the foliage, that you consider dividing the job into 2 sessions, around 12 months apart to minimise sprouting and starch removal from the tree. To reduce the size of a tree with drop-crotch cuts, we shorten the branches that extend beyond surrounding branches. This maintains the approximate original shape of the tree. The tree is simply made smaller. The longest portion of the main branches will be cut back to an existing, smaller lateral branch that is large enough to assume the role of the branch. This is normally a third to half the diameter of the removed branch.
Excessive sprouting accompanied by die back or decay often occurs if you cut back to a branch that is too small. It is unreasonable to expect more than about a 15-20% reduction in size of canopy from a properly executed crown reduction. This is a time consuming technique and is more an art than a science. It requires substantial talent to perform this operation. Of course this is a temporary measure because the tree will quickly revert to its natural size. For a FREE quote please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your London Tree Surgeon Team