Tree Reduction and Reshaping: Different Techniques and When You Need Them

tree reduction

There are lots of reasons why you might want to reduce or reshape trees. One of the main ones is safety. Trees are often reduced or reshaped to remove dead wood before it falls off and injures or damages people and property. It’s also a good idea to reshape trees to reduce the chances of them falling over in high winds.

You may also want to reduce or reshape trees to make them look good. You can shape trees into custom styles by removing branches in different places.

There are other practical reasons for reducing or reshaping your trees. You might want to make a tree smaller if it outgrows the area it’s in. People also remove branches so that more light travels through a tree and to get rid of diseased limbs.

Keep reading to find out more about the different ways to reduce and reshape trees and when your tree might need them.

What kind of tree reduction or reshaping could I get?

There are several different techniques that tree surgeons use to alter or reduce trees. A few of these include:


Pruning is one of the least severe forms of tree reduction and reshaping. You can even do it yourself if you’re feeling confident and have a small tree. Pruning is a good way to make a tree slightly smaller, reduce its wind resistance and remove diseased or damaged wood.


You may have heard pollarding described as an extreme form of pruning. This involves cutting the main branches relatively close to the stem, usually to reduce the tree’s size.

Crown lifting and thinning

Crown lifting or raising is when you remove a tree’s lower branches to make more space underneath it. The term crown thinning refers to when you remove up to 30% of branches from all parts of the tree to reduce its density.

These techniques increase light around a tree. People also do it to reduce weight and wind resistance, decreasing the chances of the tree suffering storm damage.

Crown reduction

Crown reduction is when you remove around 30% from the outside of a tree. This is usually done to reduce the height and/or spread of a tree that has become too big.


Reshaping generally refers to altering the shape of a tree in some way. It’s also a way to reduce a tree’s size, so is often referred to as crown reduction.

How do I know how what my tree needs?

The difference between the various tree reduction and reshaping techniques can be confusing. It’s also hard to know which technique should be used on your tree if you’re not an expert.

The best thing to do is speak to a professional tree surgeon or arborist. They will be able to advise you on what you need and how to do it. They’ll also be able to tell you how long the job will take and how much it will cost.



For a tree under 15ft



For a tree up to 60ft