Helpful Tree Surgeon Terminology

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Tree Surgeon​

People that are trained to plant and maintain trees
Assess hazardous and diseased trees and report findings
Prune and cut down trees when needed
Perform dangerous tasks when needed by climbing to great heights using chainsaws and other power tools.

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People that are trained in the the science and art of planting, maintaining and caring for individual trees
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Extra supports added to weak branches to help reduce the risk of failure. Usually constructed of steel


Part of the tree that holds the branches and foliage

Crown clean

This is where the diseased, dead or dying branches are removed. Mainly for safety as they can become a hazard

Crowning thinning

Removing a certain amount of inner/secondary branches. This will balance out the crown but it will not alter the size of the tree.

Crown lifting

This entails the removal of the lower branches, which will in turn lift the underneath and height of the crown. This can be done to provide more light in areas, better access or just to give an aesthetically pleasing tree to look at.

Crown reduction

This is a process of cutting back branches “about 25 percent” over the total crown of the tree. Can be used to control a trees size which may have got out of hand.

​Stump Grinding or Stump removal

Removal of the remaining tree stump by a petrol driven mechanical grinding machine. This removes the stump below ground level so the area can be re-used for other purposes.


A pruning system that involves removing the upper branches of a tree which promotes a good dense crown of foliage and strong new branches


When the growth of a tree is totally removed right to the stump. This is so the tree can re-generate. This old tradition is only used for certain species of trees and age.


Branches and stems that are non living, these can provide homes for all sorts of creatures. Good tree management would be to only cut back deadwood that incurred risks. This can different between tree species.

Formative Pruning

Slight Pruning of the structure to strengthen the early growth and also shape the tree for the future to your desired shape.

Formative Pruning

Slight Pruning of the structure to strengthen the early growth and also shape the tree for the future to your desired shape.


A tree that’s in an inactive phase, usually during the cold months of the year when no growth is happening and the leaves of a deciduous trees have shed their leaves

Drop Crotching

The Shortening of branches by pruning off the end back to a lateral branch which is at least one third of the diameter of the removed branches.

Painting or Sealing

The covering of cuts that have been pruned or wounds with a bitumen based paint to protect these open wounded areas from disease.


Generally a term used to describe the removal large branches or limbs from a tree.

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