Crown thinning & reduction

Let the light shine though!

Crown thinning is a pruning operation used to lighten the crown allowing more natural light and air to penetrate through the canopy.  This pruning operation leaves an even well balanced branch structure with generally small pruning wounds.

Remove weaknesses

By thinning the canopy we aim to reduce the density of the crown by selective removal of weak, thin and crossing branches, potential weak forking unions and then smaller secondary branches as necessary throughout the crown. The amount that will be removed is expressed as a percentage. Most thinning operations aim to remove between 15-25% however on some species, which can become very dense, it may be possible to remove more.

Encourage growth

Trees with overly dense canopies can benefit from crown thinning because the additional light promotes stronger growth of the remaining branches, encourages lateral branch development and increases branch tapering which makes the tree less susceptible to storm damage.  By thinning the crown trees have less wind resistance reducing the likelihood of failure if exposed to gusting or high winds.

Protect trees in exposed locations

This is especially important if the tree is growing in an exposed location or is suspected of having a shallow root plate.  Allowing more natural light through the canopy will encourage the establishment of grass, shrubs and flowerbeds or reduce shading to areas of the garden or property without altering the character of the tree.

Which tree species does crown thinning work well with?

Thinning works well on vigorous trees such as Norway maple, evergreen oak, horse chestnut, lime and magnolia. Trees such as walnut, ornamental maples, beech and birch are sensitive to heavy pruning. It may require that the final results are achieved over a period of time.  It is not recommended practice for conifer trees such as lawson and leyland cypress.

Gallery

 Thinning and reduction 

Contact us

If you have a question about crown thinning or any of our other services, call Rob Lee on 01275 393047.

See also: pollarding / felling & dismantling / hedge management / tree planting / stump grinding.