What is Crown Reduction?
The crown is the top section of the tree where foliage starts to spread in the form of branches and leaves. The reduction in height or spread of foliage when doing this type of work on trees may be a critical action to reduce the mechanical stress on individual branches or indeed a whole tree. Very often it is to make sure tree is best suited to its local environment and reducing the effects of shading and light loss to the immediate area.
When carrying out a professional crown reduction, the main framework of the crown should be retained along with a significant proportion of the leaf bearing structure leaving a similar, although smaller, outline. It is not necessarily to achieve asymmetry for its own sake.
Crown reduction cuts should be as small as possible and in general not to exceed 100mm diameter unless there is an overriding need to do so. Specification in the form of measurements should be used where possible and reflected in the finished Crown reduction.
The crown can be reduced in height, and it’s recommended no more than 2 metres in height be removed, with a reduction in lateral spread by 1 metre all round. These figures are based on the average 18m tree height with an 11 metre spread.
It is important to note that not all species of tree are suitable for crown reductions, and this should not be confused with ‘topping’, which is deemed an indiscriminate and harmful treatment.