We get asked a lot about our list of services. When people think of a tree surgeon, they typically imagine a scene where someone is sawing a tree, right before the great big thing comes crashing down towards the ground, hopefully avoiding anything in its way. Tree felling, that is, the process of downing individual trees, is actually a lot less common than you’d think. Don’t get us wrong, we still remove a lot of dangerous, old and/or intrusive trees, but a tree surgeon’s list of jobs is surprisingly diverse. We spend a lot of time in very specific situations. As wonderful as nature is, left to its own devices, it doesn’t care about your house, driveway, or car!
The need to fell a tree usually happens when a tree is very old. Then, instead of removing specific problem branches, for example, it becomes safer simply to remove the entire tree rather than risk multiple branches falling. A sudden change in weather, for example, can be really devastating if an old tree is near to cars or people or anything else. With younger trees that maintain the integrity of their trunks, it’s always nicer to leave the tree growing and prune it as needed if it gets a little too ambitious. As you can tell already, tree surgery is surprisingly complicated, and you need to ensure you hire the right people. We pride ourselves on being a skilful, reliable tree surgery company. Just call our number displayed at the top of the website if you would like us to solve any of your tree problems. We would love to help and are certain to be one of the best surgeon teams in the area! We take care in everything we do and know that we are the right fit for anyone in the area needing excellent surgeons!
One situation that we deal with a lot is where low branches become a problem. Low branches can interfere in a number of ways. If the tree is near a street, low branches can hang into the road. They can block pavements, obstruct views, and interfere with power lines. The process of specifically removing low branches is called crown lifting. Crown lifting is a great technique to remove problem branches but also maintain the height and majesty of the tree. Reducing the size of the canopy tends to do more damage to a tree, so crown lifting is often a better solution where the issue is simply to reduce the size.
What are the problems that can be encountered? There is always the risk that the trunk will start to decay, if the tree is over-pruned. External decay, if it hasn’t penetrated too deep, can be cut away and the tree can recover. Internal rot and decay, however, can signal further problems, especially if the structural integrity is compromised. Particularly if the pruning is done aggressively, you’re more at risk of encountering these problems. It is for this reason that crown lifting is best done over a period of time, so the tree can adjust. Believe it or not, trees can get sunburned! The position of the sun should be a consideration if crown lifting during summer, the leaves not only photosynthesise but protect the lower bark. Lastly, rapid pruning can result in abnormal growth, such as rapid (relatively speaking!) height increase.
How to go about Crown Lifting
Care has to be taken to ensure the tree is not left too top heavy, adding extra strain to the trunk that isn’t used to it. A good estimate is that half the leaves should come from branches on the bottom two thirds of the tree. Of the major branches on the bottom half, at least some should be left on. Like we said, a sunburned trunk can be a problem. One tactic is to leave most of the smaller branches at the bottom intact for a period of time (let’s say one year) while the larger ones are removed. The smaller branches maintain their protection without interfering like the larger ones may do. Should further branches need to be removed, it can be done at a later season having avoided the problems that sudden excessive removal can bring.
Something else to look for – lower branches with big diameters.
Lower branches with large diameters need to be dealt given careful consideration. They are more likely to initiate decay in the trunk if removed completely. In this case, perhaps again they will need to be partially removed. A skilful arborist will be able to deduce the best strategy for the specific tree. These thicker branches will then grow slower, allowing the trunk to thicken relatively faster than these branches. When they’re no longer too big relative to the trunk, these branches can be more aggressively pruned.
As you can see from this brief article, a process like crown lifting is very specific to the tree in question and must be handled carefully. Our team are professionally trained in this art and take pride in being part of a long tradition of tree surgeons who keep our cities and villages pruned, tidy and healthy. Contact us today if you’d like to speak to about your tree surgery needs and we’ll give you a free quote!
On a side note, if you’re interested in more details on our tree surgeon service in and around Cambridge, areas of Cambridgeshire like Soham, you can read this article on how the council hopes its barking up the right tree to enhance trees in East Cambridgeshire in the underlined article. Interesting stuff for sure and will mildly affect some of the things we do here at TH Tree Surgery.
In any case, if you need our help with crown lifting or any other kind of tree surgery service, you know who to call!
Until next time,
TH Tree Surgery
P.S. check out our friends at The Cambridge Joiner for any joinery and carpentry services!
TH Tree Surgery