Tree Surgeon

Services In Glasgow – Tree Pruning & Tree Trimming

Glasgow keeps her tree surgeons very busy. In Glasgow tree pruning and the trimming back or removal of branches is important for lowering wind loading, and allowing light penetration from the precious sunshine we sometimes get. Pruning and trimming can sometimes be carried out from the ground with small trees or for the lower sections of large trees. But usually throughout Glasgow tree pruning & tree trimming will be carried out by a specialist type of tree surgeon who can climb the tree with ropes and a harness carrying his chainsaw with him.

Sometimes a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) can be used but usually to do a good job a climber tree surgeon is needed to reach inside the tree canopy.

Tree Pruning Methods Provided

  • Crown Thinning
  • Crown Lifting or Crown Raising Tree Surgeons in Glasgow
  • Crown Reduction
  • Crown Cleaning/ Deadwooding
  • Pollarding
  • Tree Lopping and Tree Topping

Our Glasgow tree pruning team is headed up by Rikki who has many years experience as a climber tree surgeon.

Glasgow has many green areas and trees in public spaces and private gardens. Keeping Glasgow’s trees safe and green is a full time job for the tree surgeons that call Glasgow home.

Safe Sectional Tree Dismantling

When pruning large branches and tree sections the tree branches and limbs can be cut after securing them with ropes so that they can be lowered safely to the ground without damaging buildings, property or lawns on the way down.

Best To Prune Early

If pruning is left until a tree is too big for the space it’s in, then the tree can often be left too bare or too tall. The earlier in a trees life that shaping starts, the better.

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Our tree care specialists are always available to answer your questions and give you as much help as they can.

Call Us On 0141 280 3059

Expert Tree Surgeon

Glasgow Tree Pruning Methods

As with anywhere, in Glasgow tree pruning is different for each species of tree. Different species need pruning to different degrees, at different frequencies, at different stages in their life and at different times of the year. Across West of Scotland & Greater Glasgow tree pruning keeps us constantly busy as our wet environment keeps trees growing quickly.

Crown Thinning

Crown thinning does not alter the overall shape of size of the tree. It involves the pruning of generally smaller branches closer to the outside of the crown. It is carried out evenly across the tree generally not removing any more that 30% of the overall crown.

Reasons for Crown Thinning:

  • Allow more light to pass through the tree
  • Reduce wind resistance
  • Reduce weight
Crown Lifting or Crown Raising

This is the pruning of the lowest branches of a tree to allow a certain clearance beneath the crown. The amount of crown lifting should be restricted to no more than 15% of the living crown height so as not to over stress the tree.

On older trees, the larger branches growing directly from the tree trunk should not be pruned as this risks the health of the tree. Generally, only tertiary branches should be removed.

Reasons for Crown Lifting:

  • Allows more light to reach areas closer to the tree
  • Allows clearance access for people or vehicles
Crown Reduction

Crown reduction is the overall reduction in height and spread of the crown. Cuts should not exceed 100mm in diameter and the overall framework of the crown should be maintained and should retain much of the leaf bearing parts of the tree so that the tree can continue growing healthily.

Reasons for Crown Reduction:

  • Reduce mechanical stress on the tree or individual branches
  • Decrease shading
  • Shape the tree better to its situation
Crown Cleaning/ Deadwooding

As the name suggests, this type of tree pruning involves the removal of dead or diseased branches from the canopy. Sometimes climbing plants such as ivy can be removed as well, all of which goes towards keeping a healthy long living tree.


  • Reduction of weight from the tree
  • Tree Health. Cutting of diseased, dead or dying wood
  • Removal of climbing plants

Pollarding is a very sever type of tree pruning where the upper branches of a of a tree are cut to help promote the growth of a dense foliage head and to keep the tree height to a certain level.

Trees that work well with pollarding are generally broadleaves like oaks, maples, lindens and limes, mulberries, beeches, horse chestnuts and willows as well as some conifers such as yews.


  • Traditionally to promote new growths yearly for use for fodder, fuel or building materials
  • These days it is generally used as a means of restricting tree height to a certain level.
Tree Lopping and Tree Topping

These terms are mostly outdated these days as it is now understood the damage these tree care practices can cause.

Tree lopping is the pruning and removal of larger side branches from trees by making vertical cuts.

Tree topping is generally the pruning of large parts of the tree crown by cutting main stems with horizontal cuts.

Removing such large parts of a tree can cause a lot of damage and stress to a tree and can be very harmful potentially killing or decreasing the lifespan of a tree. Our Glasgow tree pruning team is made up of tree surgeons and arborists who will be able to advise on the safe level of pruning that can be carried out to retain healthy long-lived trees.

Reasons for Tree Pruning

Glasgow is home to a very wide range of tree species all needing different types of pruning and tree care. Generally, the reasons for tree pruning can be divided into the following sections:

  • Reduce wind loading. In situations where a tree may be at risk of being blown over by high winds tree trimming can improve the safety and increase the life of a tree.
  • Reduce shading. In Glasgow trimming trees back or thinning out the canopy can allow our rare sunshine through to a garden space or windows.
  • Improve access or garden space. When a tree’s growth encroaches on access ways, areas or buildings, removing tree branches with a professional arborist can retain the health and beauty of a tree without the need to completely remove the tree.
  • Storm Damaged Trees. When Glasgow’s worst weather causes branches to brake and are left hanging dangerously, tree pruning can remove the danger and help ensure that the tree stays healthy with less chance of disease entering the wound where the branch has broken.
  • Control the shape of a tree canopy. Various tree pruning methods such as pollarding can be used to control the size and shape of a tree canopy.
Before Tree Pruning Glasgow
After Tree Pruning Glasgow

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Call Us On: 0141 280 3059

Broken Tree Glasgow Emergency Tree Surgeon
Dangers of tree pruning

Trees are living organisms and any cut or break can stress or damage the tree. Tree trimming/ removing tree branches can be dangerous for the tree and possibly dangerous for property around the tree.

  • Large wounds. Tree pruning of branches or parts of the tree trunk which are too large can open the tree up to disease. Painting or chemically treating these open wounds is no longer recommended as it can actually cause disease. An expert arborist will know what size of cuts are acceptable for different species of trees.
  • Wind protection. Removing parts of a tree canopy can remove wind protection to surrounding trees which could put them at risk of toppling.
  • Tree pruning in delicate or confined spaces. Removing tree branches must sometimes be done using ropes to safely lower cut sections without damaging property or gardens.
  • Poorly made cuts. If cuts are done with the wrong equipment or carried out without the correct type of cut, or cut in the wrong position then crushing or damaging the bark or branch around the cut the tree can be much more susceptible to disease.

In some cases a poor cut can split a branch or the tree trunk opening the tree up to major stress and disease.

  • Over removal of the leafy foliage. Removing too much wood or foliage from a tree can reduce the ability of a tree to photosynthesise (breath) which will put the tree under a lot of stress.
  • Tree pruning at the wrong time of year. Different species of trees have different types of sap and different growing cycles which a skilled arborist will know and will know what times of year are best to carry out tree pruning and tree trimming.

In most circumstances, it is always best to do as little pruning as possible unless there is a potentially hazardous structural issue with the tree.

Other Dangers! Who Should Carry Out Tree Pruning?

In Glasgow tree pruning can be hazardous work because many trees are growing next to large tenements or shared gardens with limited access meaning that a skilled tree surgeon is important for carrying out tree pruning work with the least possible danger or damage.

Skilled arborist or climbing tree surgeons should always be used to carry out tree pruning or tree trimming. Arborist Direct Glasgow tree surgeons will be able to:

  • Protect the tree
  • Ensure safety of the person climbing or cutting
  • Ensure safety of people and property around the tree
  • Provide legal protection of the client. To check that it is legally possible to cut or remove the tree and that there are no protected animal habitats being affected which can cause criminal prosecutions.
  • Provide suitable insurance. Ensure that the correct Insurance is in place to carry out this potentially dangerous work.
Dangers of Tree pruning
Arborist Direct Glasgow

Glasgow Tree Pruning & Tree Trimming. How Much & When?

Our expert arborists will know the amount of tree pruning that different tree species can handle. Some tree species can be pruned heavily whereas others could die if pruned too much.

Glasgow has its own (quite wet!) climate which affects how trees react to pruning throughout the year.

Trees which have good tolerance for hard pruning include elm trees, horse chestnut trees, oak trees and willows while beach and birch trees have very poor tolerance to hard pruning.

Evergreen trees are generally poor at tolerating hard pruning meaning that the trained eye of an expert tree surgeon could mean the difference between a tree flourishing or dying after pruning.

Depending on the type of tree there are optimum times for pruning when the least damage will be done to them.

For example, the optimum time for pruning a beech is late spring to summer whereas for birch its either summer or mid-winter.

We learn from training but also from shared knowledge with others in the industry. Thanks to Tree Care Alexandria for last years shared training course on pruning methods and emergency tree removal Alexandria VA.

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Tree Surgeon Services in Glasgow