Tree Surgery and Pruning in Renfrewshire and Glasgow

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In general terms these are the main types of pruning:

Let There Be Light (The Benefits of Pruning Trees)

In Scotland where sunlight is limited at best, there is a great demand for trees to be pruned in order to improve the precious moments spent in the garden during the summer months.

Beyond this, pruning, whether the whole tree or individual branches has a wide range of benefits.

It can encourage the production of fruit, maintain tree health by encouraging good structural integrity.

It has safety benefits and can protect people or property from storm damaged branches or even worse, tree failure.

It can help prevent interference with signposts, roads and paths, overhead cables (telephone or electric) satellite dishes and tv aerials (improving reception in the process) and buildings, windows or guttering.

From an amenity point of view it can improve the beauty and subsequent enjoyment of your trees.

It is a great alternative to removing the tree and when carried out by one of our conscientious Tree Surgeons at Tree Wise can provide you with the best of both worlds.

Call us today to discuss your needs. We will provide honest, well-informed advice and can provide you with a range of options outlining the advantages and disadvantages of any potential work with no obligation. We take pride in carrying out pruning of a high standard and cringe when we pass a tree that has suffered at the hands of incompetent opportunists. They are not Tree Surgeons or Butchers; it takes great skill and training to deserve those titles.

Our Pruning Won’t Kill Trees

Tree decay can be accelerated if a substantial proportion of the cross-section of a stem or major branch is exposed by pruning wounds. This can happen either if the organisms gain entry via wounds, or if they become activated from within the tree (Birch Trees) as a result of injury. Inappropriate tree work or excessive pruning can eventually weaken the structural integrity of a tree and make it susceptible to a range of organisms that can kill them.

Every pruning cut inflicts a wound on the tree so it is important to take account of the long term effects of pruning and keep every cut as small as possible.

Some Trees Don’t Like to be Pruned

As well as the points above certain species don’t react so well to pruning so it is important to gain the correct advice before you commence; what seems to offer a short term benefit could turn into a long term liability with hidden costs over time, financially or otherwise.


Selective pruning

  • branches can be individually removed or shortened
  • provides clearance from windows, buildings, roads, cables and other structures
  • improve signal to aerials of satellite dishes
  • stop leaves falling into guttering
  • improve availability of light
  • improve visibility
  • reduce excessive overloading or end weighted branches
  • remove storm damaged branches
  • remove individual dead or diseased parts


Crown thinning

  • Allows more light to pass through
  • Improves wind resistance
  • Involves removal of smaller branches
  • Usually confined to broadleaf trees
  • Removal of leaf bearing twigs should not exceed 30%
  • Even density of foliage should be retained
  • Remove branches from throughout the tree rather than the inner crown only
  • Does not alter the size or shape of the tree

Crown Thinning

Images reproduced with permission of Dieter Kusche of the European Arboricultural Council.


Crown Lifting (or Crown Raising)

  • Removal of lowest branches
  • Improves availability of sunlight
  • Improves visibilty
  • Enables easier access under the tree
  • Good to clear paths or roads
  • Allows the safe passage of vehicles
  • Does not normally include the removal of large branches growing directly from the trunk
  • Can lead to susceptibility in high winds if carried out excessively
  • 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
  • Should be specified with reference to a fixed point, e.g. ‘crown lift to give 5.5m clearance above ground level’
  • Can be phased over time if excessive removal is desired

Crown Lifting

Images reproduced with permission of Dieter Kusche of the European Arboricultural Council.


Crown reduction and reshaping

  • reduction in height and/or spread of the crown
  • the correct method to reduce the height of a tree (not topping which kills trees)
  • improve availability of sunlight
  • improves wind resistance by reducing “sail area”
  • can improve appearance
  • may be used to alleviate stress on individual branches or the whole tree
  • can allow retention of a tree in a small space
  • cuts should be as small as possible and in general not exceed 100mm diameter
  • not all species are suitable for crown reduction
  • should be specified to reflect the finished result, e.g. ‘crown reduce in height by 3.0m and lateral spread by 1.5m, all round (all measurements approximate.)’.

Crown Reshaping

Images reproduced with permission of Dieter Kusche of the European Arboricultural Council.


Removal of Deadwood

  • Dead branches can be shortened or if necessary removed if they pose an unacceptable risk to people or property
  • Be mindful that they may provide essential habitat to protected flora and fauna


Formative Pruning

  • Improve fruit production
  • Produce a well formed tree from a young age
  • Remove potential weak points at a young age
  • Greatly increase the life expectancy of trees from a young age
  • Avoids future, more costly tree work

Other types of pruning we offer:

  • Pruning lapsed pollards (pollarding)
  • Fruit Tree Pruning
  • Extreme Crown Reduction as a last resort (better to retain than remove)

Scheduling Your Pruning

At Tree Wise we work closely with our customers pruning preferences. However, we pride ourselves in providing guidance on the optimal time to prune for the well-being of your tree.

As a general rule pruning should be avoided during spring growth and at the time of leaf fall when energy reserves are delpeted. Outside these periods most trees can be pruned at any time of the year.

Cherry and some Conifers are best pruned after flowering (June to August) when gum or resin production is most active.

Sycamore, Birch, Beech should be pruned in leaf or just after leaf fall. Apple and Pear trees should be pruned in Winter to optimise fruit production the following year.

Pruning should be timed to avoid exposure of fresh wounding to the known seasonal presence of pathogens.