Stockport Tree Surgeons

Crown thinning

Find out about our crown thinning services


We prepare our team to handle the job, environment and the weather conditions they will be facing. Our workspace, gear and equipment are then prepared for action.


We then execute our plan using our skilled climbers and well thought out strategy. After the job is done, we remove all traces of mess.

Quality Control

Our tools and equipment are checked for defects. A final site sweep is conducted to make sure everything is in place and nothing is damaged.

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What is crown thinning?

Tree Surgeons Stockport

Crown thinning is the removal of smaller / tertiary branches, usually towards the outer portion of the crown.

The aim is to produce a uniform density of foliage and an evenly spaced branch structure. Crown thinning is only really effective on non-coniferous trees, like birch, oak, cherry and sycamore. Crown thinning does not alter the overall size or shape of the tree.

Material should be removed systematically throughout the tree; should not exceed the stated percentage; and not more than 30% overall.

Crown thinning allows more light to pass through the tree; reduces wind resistance; reduces weight – but does not necessarily reduce leverage on the tree structure; and is rarely a once-only operation, particularly on species that are known to produce large amounts of epicormic growth, such as lime.

The Before and After images, below, show how effective crown thinning can be if done correctly by a skilled arborist or tree surgeon. One of our tree surgery teams crown thinned this tree last summer for a client in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport.

Before Crown Thinning
After Crown Thinning

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Crown Thinning

Benefits of Crown Thinning

  • Daylight access:
    Crown thinning allows more light through the canopy of the tree
  • Wind:
    Crown thinning also enables the wind to blow more easily through the tree canopy, reducing the risk of it getting blown over in a storm.
  • Injury/property damage:
    The removal of dead or decaying branches reduces the risk of person/property damage from unexpected falling branches.

Crown Thinning Advice

Crown thinning can be relatively easy when carried out by a professional tree surgeon with the correct experience and skillset. Crown thinning completed with little understanding can not only damage a tree but can leave you with an unsightly and unnatural looking tree. We’ve picked out some of the most commonly asked questions along with effective bits of advice regarding crown thinning.

If you happen to have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

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Lack of experience and training can lead to serious damage to your tree and it can also leave you with an unsightly, out of place tree.

Dead branches

Removing dead or decaying branches can reduce the risk of branches falling and damaging property, causing obstruction or injuring people.

Daylight and wind

Crown thinning can allow more daylight to pass through its canopy

wind access

Crown thinning can reduce the risk of a tree being blown over during a storm by enabling the wind to blow more easily through the canopy

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View our most recent crown thinning case studies