Tree Pruning

Tree pruning may be required for a number of reasons:

Safety:  Branches may inhibit the line of sight on roads or driveways, be growing into utility lines or property or are at risk of falling onto property and/or cause injury.

Health:  Pruning promotes growth and prolongs the lifespan of a tree.  In addition it can reduce the likelihood of damage to the tree during severe weather.  This is achieved by:

  • Removing diseased or insect-infested wood,
  • Increasing the airflow through thinning the crown can reduce some pest problems, and
  • Removing crossing and rubbing trees.

Improve appearance and quality:  Pruning can be used for aesthetic reasons, regulate size and shape, enhance the basic form of the tree, or to promote and improve the quality of flowers, fruit or timber.

When to prune:

The type of pruning and appropriate time of year to carry out such works is dependent on the tree’s location and species.   Refer to

“As a general rule pruning should be avoided during the time of leaf/needle production (when the tree draws on its energy reserves) and at the time of leaf/needle fall (when the tree stores energy). Outside these periods most trees can be pruned at any time of the year.  However, there are a number of exceptions.”  GWB Tree Solutions are qualified and experienced and will be able to advise.

It is an offence to prune or fell a tree that is legally protected by a Tree Preservation Order or subject to Conservation Area restrictions.  GWB Tree Solutions will establish the legal status of trees prior to carrying out works to them by contacting your local council’s Tree Officer and/or Planning Department.   For further information refer to

Pruning Techniques

Tree Pruning Techniques

Crown Thinning

Primarily used on hardwoods, this technique involves the removal of selected branches (including crossing branches, dead wood and epicormic growth) to decrease the density of a crown whilst maintaining its basic shape.  This will increase light penetration, airflow, can reduce the weight on heavy limbs and reduce the likelihood of wind damage.

[Epicormic growth is new growth arising from dormant or new buds directly from main branches/stems or trunks]

Crown Lifting

Crown lifting removes the lower branches from the crown to give a defined clearance from the ground or building.  The purpose of this technique is to protect property or allow vehicles or people to pass underneath. Councils normally have a defined height in meters from the ground or roof.

Crown Reduction

This is the reduction of the crown’s overall size whilst maintaining the tree’s basic shape. This technique is ordinarily carried out because a tree is too large for the space it occupies. It is common practice to give a percentage by how much the tree size can be reduced.



Removing the branches completely from the tree’s trunk to allow epicormic growth form a much smaller tree canopy.  This technique is only suitable for certain species, commonly willow.  The tree will rejuvenate quite quickly and require pollarding at regular intervals, e.g. on a 5 year rotation.  Pollarding is a very good way to maintain the size of trees that grow very quickly.

Dead Wooding

This is the removal of deadwood, diseased or damaged branches from the crown of the tree.  Without compromising safety, in certain circumstances it is appropriate to not completely remove branches.  It is regarded as a more ecologically friendly method of management as it retains a habitat for fungal and invertebrate colonisation.  This technique can reduce the risk of falling branches or spread of disease. 


Tree Removal


This is the complete removal of the tree, leaving the stump in the ground.  The reason for removal may be due to the death or ill health of the tree, the hazardous nature of a tree or by request.   


Sectional dismantling techniques are required to remove trees or branches in dangerous, confined or restricted spaces.  This technique involves the removal of a tree or branches in smaller sections to prevent damage to any surrounding building or structures.   Dismantling can be done from a mobile elevated work platform or by a qualified climber.


Stump Grinding
Stump Grinding

Stump Grinding

Tree stumps can be left after tree felling, however, it is often considered good practice to remove the stump to prevent suckers being produced from the stump without the risks of using herbicide, prevent the spread of disease, allow for turf to be laid or planting.  The use of a specialised machine is required to grind away the root.  It is important to note that not all of the roots can be removed. 



Water Based Tree Removal
Water Based Tree Removal

Water Based Tree Removal

Large water debris can have a beneficial impact on a watercourse, e.g. by scowering the riverbed and providing spawning beds.   However a fallen tree across a watercourse can present a hazard to water users such as anglers, kayakers and rafters, block up weirs and contributing to flooding.  In circumstances where the risk is greater than the benefit, the removal of the tree is required.  The act of removing of a tree from a watercourse adds additional hazards to the users of the watercourse and to those carrying out the task of removing the tree. Whilst GWB Tree Solutions personnel are fully qualified tree surgeons, a number of personnel hold the Rescue 3 Swift Water Rescue Technician qualification, providing you with the peace of mind that we have the knowledge and experience of moving water to extract a tree in a safe and affective manner from a water environment.