Crown Reductions and Alternations

Crown Reduction

Trees with a large canopy, or crown as it is also known, can easily become problematic. Trees of this kind can interfere with overhead utility wires, surrounding buildings and other trees. As a result of their large canopy, trees of this kind can also block light from entering your home and garden. Due to their size, trees with large crowns often have heavy, potentially dangerous limbs and are more likely to become misshapen. Reducing a trees crown can make the tree more aesthetically pleasing, as well as improving safety.

There are a number of ways in which a trees canopy can be altered. Here at APEX we have years of experience in this field and will decide upon the best course of action to achieve your desired aim.

Crown thinning 

Crown thinning is perhaps the most common way of altering a trees canopy. This involves pruning a tree's secondary branches while maintaining its overall size and natural structure. Thinning reduces the density of the tree, which in effect allows more light into the garden, reduces wind resistance, improves form and reduces growth rate. Thinning is the preferred method to minimize storm damage, however it should be noted that this technique does not alter the overall size.

Alteration Techniques

Another canopy alteration technique used is crown lifting. This is the process of removing of the lower branches of a tree and is used to add height. This technique is used when a tree's lowest branches are interfering with its surroundings.

Last Resort

The final and most extreme form of canopy alteration is crown reduction and this technique should only be used when no other alternative is available. Reducing canopy size in this manner can stress the tree because of the nature of the cuts required. Crown reduction is used to reduce the height and spread of a tree's canopy by the removal branch ends. We aim to maintain the tree natural shape where possible.

Crown reduction can also be considered when the root system of a large maturing tree has substantial decay making it potentially hazardous.


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“Work undertaken by a team of 4, led by an excellent foreman. They worked quickly and professionally, showing a great deal of concern for our wishes as customers. The trees included an 80ft+ poplar.

They had limited access on the site and, therefore, had to move all the timber by hand. This was done within one day and the site was left in very good order.

I would not hesitate to use them again or to recommend them to others.”

Customer in Fordingbridge

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