The trimming of mature trees through crown cleaning is an extremely vital pruning exercise. This is because it can save declining trees from further deterioration while also helping healthy trees to better mature.

Crown trimming or cleaning consists of various techniques which has a host of benefits

Technique/ TaskBenefit
Dead wood removalImproves safety and boosts tree health
Removal of crossing branchesReduces mechanical damage during windy days
ThinningBetter light penetration and air circulation reducing fungal issues
Canopy liftAllows more light to penetrate home or lawn
Canopy reductionBoosts overall health and enhances stability
Weight reductionImproves safety and overall tree health

Deadwood removal

This is the selective removal of dead branches throughout the canopy. Dead branches1 are always in danger of falling anytime and can cause damage or injury. For the tree, they allow water and insects to enter the heartwood of the tree, which is detrimental to its health and causes further structural instability.

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Removal of crossing branches

Removing branches that are either growing inwards toward the center of the canopy or where two branches are touching should be removed. When the wind is blowing, these branches can rub up against each other, shearing off protective bark and allowing water and insects to enter the tree.


Crown thinning is the practice of selectively removing some second and third-order branches to allow more light penetration and airflow. This reduces the likelihood of fungal infections.

Removing 10-20% of the tree’s foliage also reduces the strain on the tree and will help promote new growth and the healing of old wounds.

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Canopy lift

This is the removal of the lower branches of a canopy to help with building and pedestrian clearance. It also allows more light to penetrate your home or lawn.

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Canopy reduction

The practice of crown reduction is the removal of the canopy’s outermost extremities to reduce the tree’s size. This promotes a healthier tree, much like crown thinning.

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Weight reduction

This technique is mainly used when a tree is either leaning or the tree has too much foliage on one side or branch. This is done to promote structural stability to the roots of the tree by freeing up some weight and strain as well as promoting new growth in other areas of the tree.

Definition of tree crown cleaning?

Crown cleaning is the process of selectively trimming off vulnerable branches from the extension of a tree that proceeds upwards and outwards from the trunk. This extension is otherwise referred to as the crown.

The removal of such branches is usually done with a view of reducing the dangers that they may cause both to the tree and the objects in its surroundings.

Injury to humans as well as destruction of property are also some of the risks associated with the natural falling of such branches. The extent of injury and destruction is however also dependent on the weight and height position of such branches.

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