Crown Thinning / Raising
The process of selectively removing branches from the upper part of the tree is fairly common, since it does not significantly alter the natural shape of the tree. The main reason for crown thinning is to allow more light through to the garden below. It is possible to achieve a slight reduction in the size of the tree by removing only the longer branches, but the general aim is keep the tree looking as natural as possible. We remove dead wood as a matter of course during any tree surgery operation, and removing weight from the canopy of the tree also reduces the risk of major limbs failing, so to a lesser degree than reductions this is also a means of improving tree safety.
Crown raising is generally undertaken where access underneath a tree needs to be improved, and is a relatively straightforward operation. Official permission needs to be obtained to raise or thin the crown of a tree under a tree preservation order, or in a conservation area, and we will apply for this free of charge. Unless it is a particularly large tree, the woodchip produced by these operations is generally of a manageable volume, and we often find that customers are keen to keep it for landscaping or mulching projects. We can of course remove it from site if that is what is required.
The work we carried out on this weeping willow for Marlborough Town Council was a crown thin that incorporated elements of a reduction; the distinction between the two is often blurred. In this case the tree had recently suffered from failing branches and needed to lose weight from the canopy. We achieved this partly by removing selected branches but also by bringing the tree in slightly, without compromising its natural shape.