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A short guide to some of our tree operations

Pruning General

101100-pruningEach tree is to be individually considered and the general description of the work to be done is to be assessed in relation to the shape, size, character, condition, site and specie of each tree. A documented risk assessment is to be carried out prior to commencement of works. All operations shall be completed so as to leave each tree in an acceptable, well-balanced and safe condition.

Each branch shall be removed using the triple cut method where other methods may incur unnecessary injury to the tree. All final cuts should be made into wood making possible occlusion by the growth of callous tissue. All final cuts will be made at the branch collar, with the branch collar remaining intact. Large pruning cuts on trees require particular attention with regard to the branch collar. Under no circumstances will any “smoothing or flush cuts” be made. All cuts will be made in such a manner as set out in the guidelines of BS3998: 1989.

Heavy branches will be removed in sections and under cut to avoid tearing the bark and lowered by ropes and slings to avoid damage to the tree and its surroundings. We shall ensure that all sections fall to the ground in a controlled manner. Extreme care will be taken when using chainsaws to remove epicormic shoots so as not to damage the main stem or stems of the tree.

Pruning will be carried out with secateurs or sharp pruning knives only in the first 5 years of a tree’s life.
Dead, diseased or damaged branches will be pruned back to the corresponding branch collar. In the case of crossed rubbing branches, the branches will be assessed, pruned or removed accordingly, whilst ensuring a reasonable overall shape is maintained. Bark wounds are to have any broken, splintered wood and or damaged bark removed.

Crown Thinning

101099-crownthinThe reduction in density of foliage will reduce density through the whole crown by a percentage between 10% and 50% through the removal of weak, thin, crossing and dangerous branches and pruning of such sound branches as needed to achieve the following; safety, to preserve balance or impose shape, to admit more light and air to and through the crown, or reduce weight, to lessen wind resistance, to produce more flower or fruit, to train and encourage good branch development in young trees.
Trees will be evenly thinned throughout the whole crown as set out in the guidelines of BS3998: 1989.

Crown Lifting

101097-crownliftLifting of the crown consists of the removal of the lower branches from the main stem or branch system up to a specified height or line indicated, in particular if the branches are causing an obstruction to properties, street furniture, pedestrians or vehicles.

Removal of Epicormic Growth and Suckers

Epicormic growth is any amount of shoots arising from activated buds situated at the bole of the tree and on the main stem(s), the base of the crown. Sucker growths are shoots arising either from the bole of the tree or from roots belonging to a tree. Epicormic growth and suckers will be removed or thinned as required by use of handsaw, secateurs or, if used with extreme care, by chainsaw.

Clearance Pruning

101096-clearancepruningWe will comply with the Highways Act 1980 Section 154 in removal of all such branches. Growth shall be removed to ensure a clearance of 2.4 metres over footways, 5 metres over carriageways, 1 metre from all street lighting, traffic signs, traffic lights, street name plates etc., and 2 metres from windows or adjacent property.
Trees will be evenly thinned throughout the whole crown as set out in the guidelines of BS3998: 1989.

Crown Reduction

101098-crownreductionCrown reduction will reduce the overall height and spread of the tree crown by a specified percentage, by shortening the branches to suitable growth points to maintain as far as possible the natural form and proportion of the species.
The operation of crown reduction is a matter of judicious pruning and will not be constructed as lopping or topping. All branches will be cut back to a growth point and all final cuts should be made at an angle so the tree incurs the least possible injury in accordance with the latest recognised pruning practices as set out in the guidelines of BS3998: 1989.


This consists of removing all branches and limbs down to the original main limbs pollard points.
Under no circumstances must any original pollard points be removed.

Formative Pruning

55838-formativeFormative or corrective pruning will be carried out to young trees up to 5m in height with the objective to develop a tree into a well-shaped and balanced specimen and must be carried in accordance with the nature of the tree. Weak, crossing or dead branches will be removed. A singular leader will be developed where appropriate. Crowns may be lifted, thinned and reduced in size, dependent upon specie. Where the tree is still staked and tied, broken stakes/ties will be replaced/adjusted or completely removed if tree is of sufficient size to support itself.

Straight Felling

101103-straightThe straight fell of trees is the removal of trees as a single unit.
Straight felling will be limited to such situations which pose no risk of damage to any property whatsoever, including specially prepared grass areas. Trees to be straight felled will be guided by the use of pulling ropes/cables and felling wedges as necessary to ensure the correct direction of controlled fall.
Where a large or heavy main stem of a tree is to be straight felled, branches, crash matting or a large rubber tyre will be placed on the ground in the direction of the tree’s intended fall to protect the underlying surface.

Section Felling

Section felling will be limited to situations where there is a risk of damage occurring to any property whatsoever, including specially prepared grass areas. If the stump is being removed immediately following felling then the tree will be cut to ground level. If a delay between felling and stump removal is to occur, the stump will be left at a minimum height of 1.5 metres until removal.

Trees to be section felled will be dismantled with the use of lowering ropes, cables and slings adequate to the task. All cut off sections are to be either lowered to the ground or thrown by hand in a controlled manner.

Arisings to be cleared from site.
All arisings will be cut into manageable lengths to facilitate removal of the tree from the work site and so as not to cause damage to property. Cuttings will be bagged or binned where necessary to avoid spillage. We will be liable for any damage incurred to property as a direct result of removing arisings. We will provide protective dustsheets for carpets and flooring where necessary.

Stump Removal

101102-sectionStump removal consists of the complete removal of the stump and root bole of the tree and may be undertaken either by the use of hand tools or machine. Where hand tools are to be used in conjunction with a winch anchored to a nearby tree, adequate measures will be taken to ensure that the anchor tree is fully protected in accordance with British Standard 3998: 1989, Appendix G.
Grubbing out stumps (Removal by hand tools) involves the complete removal of the stump by digging around and under the stump and cutting all roots adjoining to it, by use of mattocks, gaffs, pick axes, spades, shovels etc.
Stump grinding (Removal by machine) involves the removal of stump and root bole to a specified depth, generally between 150mm and 300mm.
Upon completion of stump removal, remaining holes will be back-filled with soil or grinding waste to leave a level surface, unless otherwise specified.