Tree surgery is a practice that ensures the health of your bushes and trees. If you contact a tree surgeon to care for your plants, then you may run across some unknown terms. He or she may also use terms that are familiar to you but may not be synonymous.
The Difference between Pruning and Trimming
For example, pruning and trimming are actually two different activities. That is because the two methods produce different results. Whilst trimming makes use of a mechanical-type trimmer, pruning involves selectively cutting separate branches. The work is done using a secateurs, loppers, or a saw.
For purposes of understanding, the crown of a tree is the section that features the foliage, or the needles or leaves. A formative pruning is often done on semi-mature bushes or shrubs so that they will grow healthily and develop a good form.
During a formative pruning, a tree surgeon removes the secondary leader of the plant, or the crossing and competing limbs. This procedure is repeated at different intervals during the establishment of the tree. The practice is preventative as it eliminates the need for more invasive surgery when a tree or bush is mature.
Thinning of a Tree’s Crown
Thinning the crown of a tree involves selectively removing the branches to reduce a tree’s volume and density. The removal of branches is done throughout the crown to achieve balance. However, Manchester tree surgeons specialising in forestry must take care to remove a minimum of foliage. Otherwise, over-thinning can lead to stress. Therefore, the minimum amount of limbs must be removed. Whilst crown thinning for a smaller tree may be included in formative pruning, it is undertaken on a larger tree for other reasons.
For example, the crowns of large trees are thinned to permit more light to pass through the crown and reduce the volume of shade beneath a tree. It is also done to permit the wind to circulate through the crown. This lowers the chance of wind throw.
However, thinning a tree’s crown may not be recommended for some species of trees. That is because the surgery may create more growth along the limbs and may undo the surgeon’s efforts at thinning. In fact, the tree may become denser as a result. Thinning a crown is also not advised if the tree is unstable because of a defect at its base or because of root movement. In these instances, the tree surgeon may proceed with a crown reduction or reshaping.
A crown reshaping or reduction is performed to reduce the size of a tree’s crown, either in a certain part of the tree or throughout the plant. This is done to correct an imbalance in the tree’s form. As with crown thinning, only a limited portion of foliage is removed to achieve the best results. The surgeon takes this approach to ensure that the tree still looks natural and to remove the big thick branch ends of the crown’s extremities. A crown reduction is recommended when a tree is too large in its current spot but removal is not considered safe.