• Tree Crown
  • Tree Crown Thinning
  • Tree Crown Reduction
  • Tree Crown Lifting



The top of a tree which features branches that grow from the stem is the ‘crown’. Simply put, a tree crown is the top part of the tree from which branches grow from the major trunk, giving support to the featured leaves. The beauty of nature is perceived looking at how distinct trees are adorned with several types of crown. Tree crown varies from the weeping crown (willow), fountain crown (palm tree), vase crown (hawthorn), full crowned (sugar maple), a layered crown (banyan tree), spreading crown (oak tree), a columnar crown (poplar) to (pyramidal crown (deodar cedar). There is a strong correlation between the growth of a tree and its crown. However, trees can be maintained by either thinning, reducing or lifting their crown.


What is tree crown thinning?

Crown thinning is a systematic approach which involves the selective removal of a few percentages of tertiary branches in the outer crown of a tree in order to produce an even crown structure, without interfering with the natural shape of the tree. It’s a tree pruning services used in maintaining trees in homes and businesses which ensure that the natural size and shape of the tree are maintained and not more than 30% of the overall branches are cut back. Also, it is limited to the species of trees that have broad leaves.

Why is Crown Thinning Required?

There are several reasons why crown thinning may be required, the ultimate reasons are;

  • Thinning tree crown reduces weight and as such, permits overall removal of dying, dead, weak, and intertwined or crossing branches.
  • Relieve the weight of heavy tree limbs when properly done.
  • Reduce the wind-sail effect of the canopy.
  • Increase the degree of light penetration through the canopy by ensuring even distribution.
  • Improve the overall health of the tree and retains the natural growth cycle.

How and When to Thin Out a Tree’s Canopy

  • Reduce the crown’s density
  • Branches that are 2 inches thick should be thin out.
  • Ensure you don’t cut into the trunk because it may attract disease and rot
  • Thin out at a small angle so as keep moisture away from the injury sustained through surgery
  • Thin out stems and branches from the edge of the canopy, not from the interior
  • Remove stems and limbs that are parallel and close to nearby branches and those competing for space in the canopy
  • Prune to reduce the density of live branches in a tree
  • Do not remove too many live branches, even small ones from the exterior portion of the crown
  • Remove thicker beaches only if they dead and diseased.

The plant should be thin out when it is dormant before growth begins. Be careful while cutting so that you don’t remove too much interior which can result in a “lion’s tail” shape, and that can be so annoying plus, it weakens the tree. Remove any damaged and dead stems from the interior after which removal of growth around the crown’s edges has been done.



What is Crown Lifting?

Crown lifting is a technique involving the selective removal of branches or limbs that are found in the lower part of a tree’s crown. Sometimes referred to as crown raising, making the lower branches of a tree ready for future removal. The removal of large branches that are directly growing from the trunk will be avoided in this technique of pruning as it could inflict long-lasting injury on the tree. Pruning of more than 15% of live crown height is not recommended. Avoid crown lifting on the older and mature trees. However, it focuses on raising the overall height of a tree’s crown which has its limbs drooping down over driveways, walkways, or in gardens where people can sit safely.

Benefits of Raising or Lifting Tree Crown

Basically, when a tree crown is raised, not only the tree is at advantage but also people and surrounding structure.

  • Visibility and light level is improved thus, free penetration f light through the lower crown
  • Low drooping branches are kept away from traffic
  • Improvement in the overall appearance of the tree whose crown is raised
  • Increased clearance space around nearby structures or building.
  • Create a lower trunk free of branches.

Crown Raising Complications

Over pruning the lower parts of a tree could result in harming the tree. A trunk could be seriously injured when the branches removed at a time are too many. Possible problems are:

  • Wood discoloration
  • Epicormic growth result, forcing trees to grow taller than expected
  • Removal of too many limbs can expose the lower trunk to sunburn
  • There is a possibility that the trunk may decay on the inside

How Crown Lifting is Properly Done

Generally, half the foliage should grow from the branches found on the lower two-thirds of the trunk. It will be wise to leave major branches on the lower half of the trunk.

Ensure that small branches are left behind on the lower trunk for about a year (even more) after eliminating large branches so as to prevent injury from the sudden sun. The small branches shade the trunk from the sun plus, they help to speed up wound healing.



What is tree crown reduction?

The process involves removal of branch ends, reduction in height or spread of the crown of a tree. This form of canopy alteration reduces the overall size of a tree’s canopy by evenly shortening the branches throughout the crown. The process is more or less a last resort when no other pruning technique is available. Crown reduction is also considered when there is an extensive decay in the root system of a mature tree which is potentially hazardous.


The Benefits of Tree Crown Reduction

Tree crown reduction offers a wide range of benefits for homes and businesses.  Among others, the notable benefits include:

  • Prevents damage which falling branches may cause
  • Tree crowns are restored to safety size
  • Removal of dead, diseased and damaged trees branches
  • Helps to reduce the overall weight of any leaning tree
  • Complications resulting from decaying roots of a mature tree is resolved
  • The overall size of the tree crown is reduced without interfering with the natural growth of the tree.
  • Reduce the tree’s roots growth, preventing damage to Paths ( walkways and driveways), walls and buildings
  • Removal of crossing branches minimizes the possibility of pathogens and diseases infecting the tree.


Successful Crown Reduction Tips

  • Cuts should be as small as possible, shouldn’t exceed 100mm in diameter. If there is a need for more than that, it should be specified.
  • Substantial measurement should determine a reduction
  • Not all species of tree is suitable for crown reduction
  • This technique of crown alteration shouldn’t be confused with ‘topping’, an indiscriminate and harmful treatment
  • Cut to reduce tree height or spread of tree crowns
  • The final result should retain the main framework of the canopy
  • Consultancy should be sought to ensure suitable measures are taken to mitigate the hazard presented by a defective tree whilst maximizing retention.
  • Ensure suitable measures are taken so as to reduce the risk presented by defective trees. Hence, consultancy should be sought.


Perfect Time For Tree Reduction

Deciduous broad-leaved trees should be reduced in the winter when they are dormant. The worst time of the year to prune or reduce a tree is in spring. However, there is an exception to these rules therefore it will be wise to seek professional advice.

  • Are you looking for a practical way to improve your tree’s overall health?
  • Is your tree getting too big and obstructing light in your house or garden?
  • Are the lower branches of your tree getting in your way already?
  • Or is your tree growing out of control?

Contact Leinad Tree Service, let our local tree surgeon perform that special surgery that could be applicable to your specific situation. We have made our reputation on being the highest-quality and cost-effective tree service in the Jacksonville area. We are licensed and insured so, no worries we’ve got your back!