Crown thinning is the selective removal of stems and branches to increase light penetration and air movement throughout the crown of a tree.
When broadleaf trees produce branches that will overlap and rub together, as the tree ages and grows. This leads to disease and may make the tree unsafe in an urban setting due to dead wood and branch drop.
Where two stems grow out from a tree at the same point (forming a V-shape) the structure of that union weakens (as the branches lengthen) – then often split away from each other and fail.
By thinning (removing one of the branches at that union) this allows the other to strengthen its hold and help prevent future failure.
Additional light and air flow through the tree helps it protect from disease and pest (forming and living in the unions)
To avoid the tree going in to a state of shock and producing epicormic growth “epi” (whereby an injured tree will throw out lots of buds and shoots to compensate for the loss of foliage, which it needs in order to photosynthesise and feed itself) no more than a third of the crown should be thinned in any one season.
Crown Thinning does not alter the shape or overall size of the tree and is a more sympathetic option than ‘Topping’ or Pollarding.
Trees that have TPO’s applied on them (or are in a Conservation Area) are much more likely to be granted to approval to work on if they are going to be Crown Thinned rather that Pollarded or Reduced
Call us today
Email us on
As part of our initial visit to assess the crown thinning we will discuss with you:
Once we have carried out our checks with your local authority and know the protection status of your tree(s), we will then prepare you a written quote, which will detail the work as agreed.