Crown Thinning

Crown thinning is the removal of a portion of smaller/tertiary branches, usually at the outer crown, to produce a uniform density of foliage around an evenly spaced branch structure. It is usually confined to broad-leaved species. 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 be no more than 30% of the tree. Common reasons for crown thinning are to allow more light to pass through the tree, reduce wind resistance, reduce weight (but this does not necessarily reduce leverage on the structure) and is rarely a once only operation particularly on species that are known to produce large amounts of epicormic growth. If you are looking for a tree surgeon in Essex and have any questions about crown thinning, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us at Montrose Trees.


Crown Lifting (or Crown Raising)

Crown lifting is the removal of the lowest branches and/or preparing of lower branches for future removal. Good practice dictates crown lifting should not normally include the removal of large branches growing directly from the trunk as this can cause large wounds which can become extensively decayed leading to further long term problems or more short term biomechanical instability.

Crown lifting on older, mature trees should be avoided or restricted to secondary branches or shortening of primary branches rather than the whole removal wherever possible. Crown lifting is an effective method of increasing light transmission to areas closer to the tree or to enable access under the crown but should be restricted to less than 15% of the live crown height and leave the crown at least two thirds of the total height of the tree. Crown lifting should be specified with reference to a fixed point, e.g. ‘crown lift to give 5.5m clearance above ground level'


Crown Reduction

The reduction in height and/or spread of the crown (the foliage bearing portions) of a trees. Crown reduction may be used to activate mechanical stress on individual branches or the whole tree, make the tree more suited to its immediate environment or to reduce the effects of shading and light loss, etc. The final result should retain the main framework of the crown, and so a significant proportion of the leaf bearing structure, and leave a similar, although smaller outline, and not necessarily achieve symmetry for its own sake.

Crown reduction cuts should be as small as possible and in general not exceed 100mm diameter unless there is an over-riding need to do so. Reductions should be specified by actual measurements, where possible, and reflect the finished result, but may also refer to lengths of parts to be removed to aid clarity. Not all species are suitable for this treatment and crown reduction should not be confused with ‘topping', an indiscriminate and harmful treatment. If you are looking for a tree surgeon in Essex and have any questions about crown reductions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us at Montrose Trees.



Every pruning cut inflicts a wound on the tree. The ability of a tree to withstand a wound and maintain healthy growth is greatly affected by the pruning cut – its size, angle and position relative to the retained parts of the tree. As a general rule branches should be removed at their point of attachment or shortened to a lateral which is at 1/3 of the diameter of the removed portion of the branch, and all cuts should be kept as small as possible. Examples of correct pruning cuts are shown as follows.


Adaptive Growth

An increase in wood production in localised areas in response to a decrease in wood strength or external loading to maintain an even distribution of forces across the structure.

Adentitious/Epicormic and Basal Growth arises from dormant or new buds directly from main branches/stems or trunks.



Bracing is a term used to describe the installation of cables, ropes and/or belts to reduce the probability of failure of one or more parts of the tree structure due to weakened elements under excessive movement.

Branch bark ridge and collar natural features of a fork or union that may or may not be visually obvious. Neither the branch bark ridge nor collar should be cut.



Undifferentiated tissue initiated as a result of wounding and which become specialised tissues of the repair over time.



A void within the solid structure of the tree, normally associated with decay or deterioration of the woody tissues. May be dry or hold water, if it is the latter it should not be drained. Only soft decomposing tissue should be removed if necessary to access the extent. No attempt should be made to cut or expose living tissue.


Co-dominant Stems

Two or more, generally upright, stems of roughly equal size and vigour competing with each other for dominance. Where these arise from a common union the structural integrity of that union should be assessed.



The cutting down of a tree within 300mm (12in) of the ground at regular intervals, traditionally applied to certain species such as Hazel and Sweet Chestnut to provide stakes etc.



The foliage bearing section of the tree formed by its branches and not including any clear stem/trunk.



Non-living branches or stems due to natural ageing or external influences. Deadwood provides essential habitats and its management should aim to leave as much as possible, shortening or removing only those that pose a risk. Durability and retention or deadwood will vary by tree species.



When a tree exhibits signs of a lack of vitality such as reduced leaf size, colour or density.



Tips of branches exhibit no signs of life due to age or external influences. Decline may progress, stabilise or reverse as the tree adapts to its new situation.


Formative Pruning

Minor pruning during the early years of a tree's growth to establish the desired form and/or to correct defects or weaknesses that may affect structure in later life. 


Fungi/Fruiting Bodies

A member of the plant kingdom that may colonise living or dead tissues of a tree or form beneficial relationships with the roots. The fruiting body is the spore bearing, reproductive structure of that fungus. Removal of the fruiting body will not prevent further colonisation and will make diagnosis and prognosis harder to determine. Each colonisation must be considered in detail by a competent person to determine the long term implications of tree health and structure when considered alongside the tree species, site usage etc.


Lopping and Topping

Generally regarded as outdated terminology but still part of planning legislation. Lopping refers to the removal of large side branches (the making of vertical cuts) and topping refers to the removal of large portions of the crown of the tree (the making of horizontal cuts, generally through the main stems). Often used to describe crude, heavy-handed or inappropriate pruning.



The initial removal of the top of a young tree at a prescribed height to encourage multi-stem branching from that point, traditionally for fodder, firewood or poles. Once started, it should be repeated on a cyclical basis always retaining the initial pollard point, or boiling as it becomes known.



Pruning A form of reduction intended to encourage development of lower shoots and emulate the natural process of tree aging.





The Contractor

Montrose Trees provide arboricultural, vegetation management, plant health care and land based services. The Contractor agrees to perform the work in a competent manner. Such work will be in keeping with our quoted specification. Our work follows industry good practice and appropriate British Standards.


All Quotations

All Quotations are valid for 90 days from the date of issue unless otherwise stated. They are accepted on the basis of payment being due on the date of invoice, unless agreed in writing to the contrary. 


Amendments & Variations

Such alterations to quotations will be mutually agreed in writing prior to carrying out works. If the contractor discovers a defect not previously noted, they will report this to the client, as soon as possible. If the planned work requires changing due to the defect such recommendations will be considered as an amendment to the contract and variations will be agreed. 


Site Conditions

The quotation is based on the site conditions, layout and access existing at the time of inspection. It is the client's responsibility to advise of any alterations as this may have an effect on working practice and costings. 


Restrictive Covenants, Easements, & Way-leaves

Investigation of these shall be the responsibility of the client and no liability shall attach to the contractor for breach of the above. 


Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas

The trees covered under the contract may be subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or within a Conservation Area. Upon acceptance of the quotation; For trees subject to a TPO the contractor will make a formal application for the proposed works to the relevant Local Planning Authority.

For trees within a Conservation Area the contractor will serve the statutory notice of proposed works to the relevant Local Planning Authority. Application and notices do not guarantee consent from the Local Planning Authority. If the initial application is refused the contractor will discuss options with the client before proceeding.

In the event of permission being granted by the Local Planning Authority and the client subsequently cancelling the works; a charge of £35.00 + VAT will be levied to cover the administrative costs of the application. In all usual cases where works are completed as planned; no additional costs will be incurred. The contractor reserves the right to set a fee to process large or complex applications that will require significant work to prepare.

If the client has an existing consent, original paperwork must be supplied to the contractor a minimum of 48 hours before works are scheduled to commence unless previously agreed in writing.


Underground Services

The client will be responsible for providing accurate plans, or onsite markings showing the locations of all underground plant and obstructions (eg. pipes, wires or cables constructions). The contractor will endeavour to avoid any identified objects but shall be under no liability for any damage caused as a result of work performed under the contract. The owner of the land (or their agent) shall be liable for any damage caused by their failure to supply accurate information about underground obstructions. 



Removal of Waste

Unless stated in our specification and agreed by the client, all arisings shall be removed from site. In line with our environmental policy we endeavour to recycle all material, and actively avoid the use of landfill.


Value Added Tax (VAT)

All prices quoted are plus VAT. This is charged at the relevant, current VAT rate


Insurance Cover

The Contractor is covered by £10,000,000 Third Party and Public Liability and £10,000,00 Employers Liability Insurance. 


Completion of Contract

The Contractor will not be liable in damages or otherwise because of non-performance of a contract arising from adverse weather conditions, strikes, lock-outs, government mandated lockdowns in public health crises, war and civil commotion, or lack of adequately skilled labour in whole or in part. Completion dates shall be contingent upon weather conditions.


Cancelations & Aborted Visits/ Works

If the clients request is for work to be carried out urgently; this will be clearly stated and agreed. The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 give a right to cancel. If works are planned within 14 days of quotation acceptance, we deem them to be urgent, and the client waives their right to cancelation protection. The Contractor reserves the right, in instances where a quotation has been accepted and the works scheduled in good faith (after the 14 day ‘Notice of the Right to Cancel' period) to recover reasonable costs that the Contractor has incurred, should the client cancel with fewer than 48 hours notice. These costs can include, but are not limited to: administrative costs, fuel, (should the works be cancelled after a team has arrived on site) any time on site or works already undertaken prior to cancellation and any reasonable, potential loss of earnings arising from the Contractor being unable to allocate replacement works at such short notice, any fees paid to third parties for work permits, parking restrictions, traffic management, consultancy etc


Where nesting birds prevent the legal completion of scheduled of work, we reserve the right to invoice up to 50% of the sum of the agreed contract, with the remaining monies to be invoiced on completion at a later date when the birds nest is no longer active and the work is again legal to perform



Any complaints which may arise from work performed under any contract arising from acceptance of the quotation, must be made within the period of seven days from the date of invoice, unless agreed in writing to the contrary. The complaint will be handled following our adopted policy, a copy of which is available upon request.


Payment Terms

Payment must be received within 30 days of the date of our invoice. We reserve the right to levy additional charges of 5% of the gross value of the original invoice for each 7 day period after the 30 days has expired, up to a maximum of 25%


Montrose Trees Ltd
Contact Us On: 01702 343386
Email: info@montrosetrees.co.uk
Company Registration 08993397