Tree Services Manchester: Key Pruning Terms

Tree Services

When you think of tree services Manchester you probably think of someone who helps you to maintain your trees in a safe and healthy condition but there is a lot more to it than that. If your trees are not pruned correctly then this can lead to diseased, unsightly and even potentially dangerous trees.

We feel that it is important that people have an understanding of the basic terms we use to describe most tree-based operations, as then they have a better idea of what they want when they talk to us, and they will also be able to understand our recommendations more clearly as well. So, we have pulled together this summary of the three main pruning options:

#1 Crown Thinning

This is the term used to describe the removal of a portion of the smaller branches, usually at the outer crown, in order to produce an evenly spaced branch structure and a more uniform density of foliage. It is usually done on broad-leaved tree species and has no effect on the overall shape or size of the tree. We would not recommend that more than 30% of the material of the tree be removed during the thinning process. The most common reasons for tree crown thinning are:

  • To allow more light to pass through
  • To reduce wind resistance
  • To reduce weight (although this won’t necessarily reduce leverage)

#2 Crown Raising

This is the procedure we do to remove the lowest branches and also prepare other lower branches for future removal. We offer the best tree surgery Manchester service as we do not remove large branches growing directly from the tree trunk because experience has shown us that this will cause the tree to decay. Instead, we restrict our work to removing secondary branches or shortening primary branches instead. Crown lifting is the most effective method to use when you want to increase light transmission close to the tree, or you want to enable access under the tree. However, tree crown raising should be restricted to less than 15% of the live crown height, and it should always be specified to a fixed point e.g. ‘ crown raising to give clearance to 5m above ground level’.

#3 Crown Reduction

This concerns the reduction in spread or height of the crown of the tree. It is usually completed in order to:

  • Reduce stress on individual branches
  • Make the tree more suited to its environment
  • Reduce the effect of shading and light loss

The final result of crown reduction should still see that the crown retains much of its original shape, although the silhouette will probably be smaller and not necessarily symmetrical. The cuts we undertake when doing a crown reduction will be as small as possible, and won’t exceed 100mm in diameter unless there is a specific reason we need to do this. Not all tree species are suitable for this type of pruning, and it shouldn’t be confused ‘topping’ which is a very harmful practice.

If you need the services of a tree surgeon Manchester then please give us a call today. You can contact us on 0800 050 2131 or 07958 495031 or by email at