Often it is needed to gain access to the crown of a tree or its higher branches to undertake maintenance work for the benefit of the tree or to make a potentially dangerous section safe. Usually this takes place in urban areas like gardens, hedges and parks but can also be required in woodlands.
Raising the crown
This is carried out by removing lower branches leaving a high crown. This is usually done to promote strong new growth at the top of the tree and to gain more light in the lower garden.
A traditional practice used to control the height of the tree. This is done by removing the
existing crown encouraging new growth at the new height traditionally not lower than 9 feet because that was the height needed to keep off grazing animals, like horses and deer which damaged or ate the new growth from a coppiced stool. These days pollards are left much higher, perhaps for ornamental value.
Despite looking extreme at first the tree will continue to grow healthy and strong and very soon abundant new growth will appear from its new lower crown. One reason for
pollarding a tree is when there is a risk of the tree becoming unstable due to uneven
growth, rot in the main stem or if the tree is growing too big for its shallow bank where the roots cannot support it for much longer. Taking the weight off the tree will help prevent it from falling over damaging property and bringing about its own downfall literally! A huge number of our country’s oldest trees are pollards.
Removing deadwood from the crown of the tree is carried out to control the falling of
timber which is likely to fall randomly due to dry and weak joints.
Not only is it needed to prevent injury or damage to property it also helps to stop the
branch ripping or tearing a hole at its base inviting disease or leaving an unsightly spike in need of surgery.
There are times when a tree needs to be removed completely. This might be because of disease or rotting of the main stem/trunk. For instance if an ash tree in someone’s garden is found to have an un-treatable disease but is not possible to be felled safely in one go because of possible property damage it is necessary to bring the tree down in manageable sections in a controlled operation, usually by lowering sections of the tree to the ground safely.
If a tree doesn’t seem to be making abundant new growth in Springtime or has areas of
decay it may have a fungal disease. Diseases of this nature might affect the roots, the
main trunk or the branches. Honey fungus can attack the roots out of sight whereas
bracket fungus can clearly be seen on a main stem indicating decay, particularly on beech and sycamore.