Crown Cleaning

Crown Cleaning is the removal of dead, diseased and dangerous wood from the crown (canopy) of a tree. This process is often used where a tree is growing in a public place where there are many targets (objects or people passing under or situated under the tree’s crown likely to be damaged or injured from falling wood). As trees become more mature in age, the likelihood of dead wood appearing in the crown increases. If the tree is in a forest or woodland where there is little risk of the dead limbs falling and causing injury or damage, they are often left for wildlife such as woodpeckers to use.

Trees in residential and amenity areas and roadside trees should be inspected on a regular basis to ensure that the risk of falling wood is kept to a minimum.

The process of cutting away dead and decayed wood not only reduces the risk to passers by underneath the tree but can also stimulate an older tree in to further growth if the cuts are made below the dead tissue. The tree will respond to the cutting by sending out shoots which will develop in to new limbs in the future. This process is sometimes known as canopy restoration.

The current thinking is that if the tree has a low target position (low human/vehicular traffic passing underneath the crown) then the crown should be left in its natural state without human intervention. Obviously, in many urban cases this is not possible on grounds of health and safety.

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