Crown Thinning 

Tel: 01234 720801 
Why Crown Thin a tree? 
This is done to allow more light through to the crown without altering the overall shape and size of the tree. Crossing or rubbing branches are removed together with diseased wood. The tree is then pruned to reduce the crown density whilst retaining a natural shape 
Crown Thinning a veteran Oak in Carlton, Bedfordshire
What does Crown Thinning look like? 
What does Crown Thinning look like?
Crown thinning is a pruning technique primarily used on hardwood trees. Crown thinning is the selective removal of stems and branches to increase light penetration and air movement throughout the crown of a tree.  
Why Crown Thin a tree? 
The intent is to improve a tree's structure and form while making life uncomfortable for tree pests. 
Stems with narrow, V-shaped angles of attachment often form included bark and should be selected for removal first. (We leave branches with strong U-shaped angles of attachment). The included bark forms a bark wedge when two stems grow at sharp angles to one another. These ingrown wedges prevent strong attachment of stems often causing a crack at the point below where the branches meet. Removing one or more of the stems will allow the other stem(s) to take over. 
This photo clearly demonstrates the effects of Crown Thinning a Lime tree rather than 'Topping'.  
We prune the middle tree of this historic line.  
Crown Thinning v Crown reduction or topping
Branches growing off these stems should be no more than one half to three-quarters of the diameter of the stem at the point of attachment.  
A knowledgable arborist will avoid producing "lion’s tails", tufts of branches and foliage at the ends of branches, caused by removing all inner lateral branches and foliage. Lion’s tails can result in sunscalding, epicormic sprouting and weak branch structure and breakage. Branches that rub or cross another branch should be removed. 
How do i avoid unnecessary stress to my tree? To avoid unnecessary stress and prevent excessive production of epicormic sprouts, no more than one-quarter of the living crown should be removed at a time. If it is necessary to remove more, it should be done over successive years. 
For more information about Heritage Arboriculture Ltd or to book an appointment to discuss your trees, please call us on 01234 720801. 
Heritage Arboriculture ltd 
Creating a Healthy and Beautiful Environment 
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