Crown Reduction Services

Crown reduction is a pruning method that reduces the height and/or spread of the crown. It’s an effective method of reducing stress on branches and making a tree better suited to it environment.

Our Approach

Our fully qualified team will ensure that the final result retains the main framework of the crown and results in a smaller, but similar overall shape of the tree.

We carry out crown reductions where mechanical stress on individual branches is too great, making it lighter and easier to bear its own weight. Where necessary, we also employ this method to reduce the effects of shading and light loss.

What is crown reduction

Let’s start with the term crown. This is the overall shape of the tree which describes the outer tips of the branches and leaves. Sometimes a tree will outgrow its position. This can be in instances where the tree is growing into power lines or overhanging a house or is significantly taller than a house and so has the to deal with the full force of the wind. Crown reduction can reduce the sail effect of the wind as can crown thinning, more on that later.

How much is taken off in a crown reduction?

This where opinion will vary depending who you talk to. A crown reduction is a light prune removing peripheral branches. The main structure of the tree and all the major branches should remain untouched unless there are good grounds to do that e.g., storm damage. In essence you should have a similar but smaller outline. Normally I would recommend 15% as a good guide this will obviously vary according to species of tree. Some trees can cope with hard pruning such as willow other trees can only deal with a light superficial prune such as silver birch.

The Benefits

Crown reduction procedures will make the tree more suited to its immediate environment.

By removing outer foliage, there will be less mechanical stress acting on both individual branches and the tree as a whole, so the tree will be stronger and better adapted to the space. When combined with crown lifting and crown thinning, the end result will be a lighter, more open space in and around the tree. 

Reasons for a crown reduction

As trees mature, they naturally produce deadwood which can snap off at any time, if the tree is competing for light the shape of the crown can be compromised. The direct benefit of crown reduction services is in storm conditions the tree is made safer and less prone to branches falling off and damaging either person or property. The best approach I say to my customers in Manchester is to think of formulating a five-year plan, for employing crown reduction services. So, on a five year cycle the tree gets crown reduced and the potential risk gets significantly lowered.


When is a good time to get a tree crown reduction?

Most people would say late autumn and winter, and that would be true of many trees but not all. Lime trees for example are prone to the frost on new cuts so late summer after any blooms is a safer time for a tree reduction of this type of tree.

Is a crown reduction beneficial for the tree?

New growth is encouraged through phototropism. So short answer yes. When a tree is producing juvenile growth, the tree will naturally have a lot more vigour. When there is a lot more vigour in the tree the tree is naturally more pest and disease free.


How does crown reduction help with fighting disease?

If the tips of the branches have a disease attacking them then removing that from the rest of the tree prevents further spread of the disease. This also helps stop the spread to neighbouring trees in the area.

Why Choose Roots & Shoots

Our skilled trained professionals always do what’s right for the tree under their care.

 We’ll always aim to retain the shape of the tree and never remove more than 30% of the tree’s volume, to avoid any ‘shock’ or long term damage. If we think your tree needs extra attention, we’ll recommend the best management plan to keep your tree safe and healthy.

What about topping?

Firstly, this term refers to a more indiscriminate procedure. More often than not, leaves the tree looking ugly and unappealing and looks nothing like a tree crown reduction. As with humans so it is also with trees. Simply the bigger the cut the greater the risk. Topping usually entails doing a lot of big cuts. Occasionally this is necessary we don’t live in a closed system where everything is uniform and always the same. However, it is not usually considered best practice and should be carefully considered before going ahead with that option.

What about power lines and phone lines?

Keeping the tree in check from lines is a good thing. This is where tree reduction services can come into there own

I once cut back a tree in Glossop where the outer black sheaf was worn off and the inner red and yellow leaving the copper exposed. Constant movement in the wind caused the line to deteriorate.

Does crown reduction help when my tree is weighted to one side?

In Manchester this is a more common problem than you would think. The typical scenario I see repeated in virtually every garden is this. The garden is beautifully landscaped and a brilliant job has been done without doubt. However, in a bid for the landscaper to give the customer the perception of value for money it is over planted. This is ok as long as the plants and trees are young and juvenile but not so good as they reach maturity.

The trees are often competing for light, water and nutrients. A tree will always follow the light which more often than not leaves it one sided. Thinning the trees out helps this is regarded as good forestry management. But this still leaves a tree that is weighted to one side. A tree crown reduction, lightens this weight, relieves the pressure of the limbs of the tree, the torsion on the trunk and the strain on the root plate. Result? A safer tree more able to with stand the rigours that our weather throws at it.