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  • Callum Ward

What is Crown Lifting on a Tree?

Crown lifting, plays a pivotal role in the maintenance and management of trees in both urban and rural settings. This technique involves the removal of a tree's lower branches, effectively raising its crown to clear space below for various purposes.

tree crowning

The Fundamentals of Crown Lifting

Crown lifting is undertaken for several reasons, each aiming to enhance the tree's aesthetic appeal, health, and the safety of its environment. This practice not only facilitates more light penetration and air circulation beneath the tree canopy but also prevents potential obstructions and hazards, making it a crucial consideration for property owners and urban planners alike.

When and Why to Opt for Crown Lifting

1. Safety and Accessibility: One of the primary motivations for crown lifting is to ensure safety and accessibility in public and private spaces. By removing lower branches, the technique prevents obstructions on pathways, roads, and ensures clear visibility, reducing the risk of accidents.

2. Health of the Tree: Crown lifting can contribute significantly to the overall health of a tree. By selectively removing lower branches, especially those that are dead or diseased, the tree is less susceptible to infections and infestations, promoting a healthier growth pattern.

3. Aesthetic and Environmental Benefits: Beyond practicalities, crown lifting can dramatically enhance the visual appeal of a landscape. It creates a more open, airy environment, allowing for underplanting and the integration of diverse plant species beneath the tree canopy. This not only enriches the biodiversity of the area but also contributes to a more vibrant and dynamic garden ecosystem.

Best Practices for Crown Lifting

Crown lifting, while beneficial, requires a thoughtful and informed approach to ensure the well-being of the tree and its surroundings. Here are key considerations to bear in mind:

  • Timing: The optimal time for crown lifting is during the tree's dormant season, usually late autumn to early spring. This timing minimizes stress and the risk of disease transmission to the tree.

  • Extent of Lifting: It's crucial to avoid removing too many branches at once, as this can lead to stress and instability. A general guideline is to lift the crown to no more than 15% of the tree's total height, ensuring the tree maintains its natural balance and structure.

  • Professional Consultation: Given the technical nature of crown lifting, consulting with a certified arborist is advisable. An expert can assess the specific needs of your tree, considering factors such as species, age, and location, to recommend a precise and effective approach.


Before embarking on a crown-lifting project, it's important to be aware of any local regulations or restrictions that may apply. In some areas, certain trees may be protected under conservation laws, requiring permission before any work can be carried out. Get in touch with the team a Treescape, we will be able to help with your decision whilst taking the legal and environmental impact into account.

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