Crown reduction is the pruning of a tree, and is most often applied when a tree has grown too large for it’s surroundings. Crown reduction or drop crotch pruning, is preferred to topping, because it leaves the tree in a more natural look, decreases the need for more future work and minimises stress and bother.
Crown reduction pruning is generally used as a method of last resort. This pruning technique often results in large pruning wounds to stems that may lead to decay. This method should never be used on a tree with a pyramidal growth form. A better long term solution is to remove the tree and replace it with a tree that will not grow beyond the available space.
Is usually carried out when the crown is dying back. Dead wood needs to be removed and cut back to live wood to promote new growth.
However, this is not generally recommended practice on a healthy tree, as it will create future problems.
Tree reductions can be carried out by a MEWP or be tree surgeons climbing the tree.
Crown reduction is NOT tree topping or tree lopping. Instead, when crown reduction is complete, there is still plenty structure left in the tree crown.
Crown reduction is for the purpose of reducing weight off the tops of trees and does not always mean reducing the height, although height is often reduced too but it’s a case by case basis.
The crown of a tree is what catches the force of storms.
When wind catches the crown it can cause limbs to fail and break off or the tree itself to uproot.
Crown reduction can reduce the possibility of such damage. The top of a tree acts as a sail especially when in leaf, and when the wind blows the crown catches the wind.
Crown reduction reduces the size of the sail so that the wind has less of an impact on the tree .
The crown reduction of a healthy tree can have the opposite effect, it can create vigor which in return can congest the crown and create more problems later, crown reduction on healthy trees will only be short term solution and long term will involve more expense on further crown reductions.
The most common problem is a case of the wrong tree wrong place.
Crown reduction work is generally carried out on trees that are diseased or in declined, leaders and lateral branches should be pruned back to a suitable side branch which has a diameter not less than 30% of the diameter of the part being removed. Think about what to plant and where!
Before any reduction work is carried out on mature trees the site is inspected for risks and wildlife, bats nesting birds etc
all of which are protected by law.