What is a crown reduction?
A crown reduction is the reduction in height and/or spread of a tree. The amount the tree is reduced by is dependant on the tree or tree owner’s requirements.
When might we need to carry out a crown reduction?
A crown reduction may be required for several reasons.
- Commonly, if a tree is too large for its surrounding environment, a crown reduction would be carried out in order to retain the tree in its location.
- Tree reduction may be required to reduce light loss or shading.
- A trees side lateral branches may be overhanging a property, causing damp or simply allowing birds to foul a certain area. For example, cars, driveways and patios.
- Tree reduction may even be required for aesthetic purposes.
A crown reduction may also be undertaken if the tree has suffered branch loss due to the tree having particularly over extended or heavy limbs/branches. The owner may wish to reduce the risk of any future branch loss.
Important information when reducing trees
There are obviously times when a tree may require a heavy reduction, but it is important to remember trees are living things that suffer from stress and over-pruning can shock trees. It is highly recommended that wounds left during a crown reduction should be as small as possible in order for the tree to repair itself without expending too much energy, also reducing the risk of infection to the exposed tissues.
When pruning, the summer is considered the best time as the tree is creating its own energy. Removing only a small percentage of the canopy allows the tree to replace the energy lost through photosynthesis. Winter pruning can be undertaken, although the debate is that you are removing the trees stored energy which the tree will have to replace once active again. Also, a tree’s natural defences to pruning are slower when dormant, so this may cause potential pathogens to enter the tree’s system that it would be better armed to combat if pruned when active.
It is more important not to prune a tree when the energy flow is active, so not in the spring when the sap is rising and releasing its stored energy from the roots. Equally, early autumn would not be advised as this is when the tree is sending its current energy down to the roots for storage over the coming winter.
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