As with anything technical, to become a skilled professional takes time, dedication and study. Tree surgery is a relatively new domain, having been formalised around the turn of the century after John Davey took the science of trees and horticulture to the next level. Over time, tree surgery has become more refined. Now, prospective tree surgeons can qualify through designated courses to gain a full and thorough understanding of this branch of science. Our tree surgeons in Cambridge are experts in our field and have excellent depth of knowledge to help you with your problems.

Tree surgery is a very diverse discipline and can be very dangerous, requiring vast knowledge to perform correctly and safely. A skilled tree surgeon is trained in a number of techniques that allow him to understand the “whys” behind what he’s trying to achieve. Why might you need to remove specific branches of a tree? Why does this tree need to be removed? Why is this job too dangerous for the layman to attempt?

A number of techniques are commonly used by the tree surgeon to achieve his goals. We thought we’d take a look at them and provide a brief summary of why they’re used.


Felling a tree means to remove a tree completely. That is, cutting the trunk so the tree falls to the ground, allowing it to be broken down and removed. Felling is usually done when the tree poses a greater risk to the surrounding environment than is deemed reasonable, whether that risk is to people or something material. For example, a tree whose roots are encroaching on pipes or the walls of a building. In this case, removing the tree might be the safest thing. Old trees are sometimes best felled, given that as the tree dies it loses its structural integrity, meaning the risk of individual branches falling becomes greater. A skilled tree surgeon should be called when a tree needs to be felled. They will consider the safety implications of the particular tree and ensure that nothing is harmed during the process. They can then break down the tree into firewood and wood chip using a chipper, all of which can be recycled.


I’m sure everyone knows what pruning is. You’ve probably done some pruning in your lifetime. However, pruning isn’t simply a case of trimming a hedge or tree back when it has overstepped its limits. Pruning can be used to shape hedges and trees, for example, by focusing on the removal of certain branches to encourage growth in a certain direction. This is used particularly with young hedges to encourage more well-rounded distribution of branches and a healthier hedge.

Pruning can also be used on infected trees. Where the case is minor, the infected branch(es) or section of trunk can be removed. Then, the infection cannot spread and the tree can continue on with its life. If the damage is too much, the tree might need to be removed. If possible, it’s more cost effective to simply removed infected areas, but this is only possible if they’re minor and won’t compromise the structural integrity of the tree in the long run.

Crown lifting

Crown lifting is certainly a technique that requires a lot of practice to get right. Essentially, crown lifting is the removal of lower branches of a tree. Typically, this is done with practicality in mind. For example, large, low hanging branches may be a nuisance to a walkway, be too close to a road, or spoil someone’s view. Crown lifting is not simply a case of going in and hacking away! The sudden removal of large branches of a tree can initiate trunk decay, for example. There are certain techniques to the way branches should be cut to ensure the tree continues to grow and stays healthy.

Crown lifting is useful not only for the above reasons, but also for improving the overall growth patterns of the tree. Some trees naturally grow in a way that isn’t conducive for their longevity. Sometimes trees grow very large branches, all from one particular focal point in the trunk. This causes unbalanced growth and uneven weight distribution. Skilful crown lifting and pruning can ensure a young tree grows tall and healthy with well distributed branches.

This is just a handful of the numerous techniques and practices a successful tree surgeon uses on a day to day basis. Even from a brief snapshot, you can see that it’s not simply a case of going in all guns blazing and hacking away! Tree surgeons often have the reputation of being a bit rough and ready. Fair enough! Rest assured, we consider it more of an artform.

Thanks for reading! If you need local tree surgery services in and around Cambridge, give us a call today and we’ll sort out a free quote. We serve Soham, Ely, Newmarket and other areas.

Thanks for reading and check back for more soon! Until next time,
TH Tree Surgery

TH Tree Surgery

48 High Street,

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