W J Lowe – Landscape Gardening
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Our Frequently asked questions
From whether you want to know when is best to prune a tree to finding out if a tree is protected, search here to see our frequently asked questions.
The answer is yes, and the best two methods for achieving this are crown raising and crown thinning.
Crown raising - People often think reducing the height of a tree will bring more sunlight into a garden but this is not the case, as the sun has to be very high (peak of summer) to still get over the height of a tree. By raising the lower branches and canopy of the tree, more natural light comes in underneath the canopy and often gives the best results for allowing more light into an area.
Crown thinning - This involves removing a small percentage of the canopy. Although this method is not currently considered as best practice in the industry, it is still an effective way to allow more natural light through a tree’s crown. It takes skill and experience to perform this method well. Removing too many branches can have a detrimental effect on the tree’s health.
Providing the tree is not protected by a tree preservation order or is within a conservation area then yes, you can do this legally if the branches are causing a nuisance. By rights, you should offer the arisings back to the neighbour as it is in their ownership. It becomes problematic if you must access the tree, e.g. by climbing, as this is then considered trespassing.
In our experience, it is always best to consult the neighbour first, or if you don’t get on, allow a third-party, e.g. a tree surgeon, to approach them on your behalf. This often results in the required outcome as a professional approach can reassure a neighbour that the work will be done correctly and therefore make them more forthcoming.
Depending on species, it is often best to let wood go through at least one summer of drying time, and two summers’ drying will make for better firewood. Firewood will season quicker if cut or split, as this opens the interior of the wood that will hold moisture and allows air around the whole section, speeding up the drying process.