What is Crown Reduction, and Why is it Necessary?

March 6, 2019
March 6, 2019 Ryan McFadgen

What is Crown Reduction, and Why is it Necessary?

We tend to think of homes with established yards and mature trees as “low maintenance”. And they certainly are, in most cases, especially when compared to the time and effort required to establish landscaping for a new construction home. But low maintenance doesn’t mean “no” maintenance! From time to time, even mature trees will need some care and attention.

In particular, older trees may begin to look overgrown, messy, or misshapen over time. At this point, crown reduction might be required, to improve both the appearance and health of your tree.

What is crown reduction? Crown reduction refers to a specialized tree trimming procedure, in which we cut down primary branches and foliage around the top of the tree (the “crown”). This might sound simple, but it’s actually a very technical horticultural technique. It requires the removal of a significant amount of branches, but the “right” ones should be carefully identified by an expert first. Crown reduction does result in shortening of the tree, and can seem severe when you see how much is pruned away! But it’s all done very carefully and with a lot of forethought.

Why is crown reduction performed? Crown reduction, along with thinning, will improve your tree’s stability and encourage healthier growth in the future. It also reduces the amount of dead wood in the center of the tree, allowing more sunlight to penetrate through the branches. This improves the health of your tree, and you will appreciate the cleaner aesthetic appearance as well. Safety is another consideration, since cluttered branches and dead wood can create hazards from falling debris.

Because crown reduction requires climbing, potentially dangerous equipment, specialized techniques, and professional judgement, we definitely recommend against trying this procedure yourself. Give us a call, and we’ll be happy to come out and evaluate your trees’ needs. Then we can make recommendations to improve the look and health of your trees, while performing this complicated procedure safely.


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