The basics of Tree Surgery

Caring for the trees on your property is not always as easy as it may sound. If you’ve read any articles on Tree Surgery you will already know that it is a highly skilled profession, with many of the practices requiring equipment/machinery as well as knowledge and expertise in using them correctly.

As with any profession, tree surgeons have their own terminology when discussing work practices, and as a homeowner with limited or no knowledge it can seem a little daunting. Here are some of the basics that may crop up in conversation;

Crown – This is the foliage section of the tree which is formed by its branches. It does not include the tree trunk.

Deadwood – Non-living branches due to natural ageing or external influences.

Decline – When a tree displays a lack of vitality, poor leaf size or a reduction in colour this is known as the trees decline.

Coppicing – Cutting down a tree to within 12in of the ground at regular intervals.

Root pruning – Like pruning branches, the roots are pruned ensuring that the tree remains stable and does not interfere with anything else that may be in close proximity.

Bracing – Belts, ropes or cables are used to support the structure of the tree should it have become weak and unstable.

Fertilising – Applying a substance to the roots of the tree to aid and encourage healthy growth or to reduce the rate of a trees decline.

Cavity – A void in the solid structure of a tree usually caused by the trees deterioration.

Pollarding – The initial removal of the top of a young tree to encourage new growth.

When to call

Tree Surgeons work all year round. If you are responsible for the trees in/around your property it is important that you know when to contact a tree surgeon. If your tree has been severely damaged perhaps due to weathering, is growing towards a building or is not looking as healthy as you’d expect, then contact your local tree surgeon who can advise on what measures you need to take to keep the tree or alternatively to remove it completely.

In terms of caring for trees with regular pruning, most trees can be pruned at any time of the year although it is best to avoid the period where the tree is producing new leafs and is at its most active in terms of growth. Ideally do not prune if the weather is particularly cold and frosty, as pruning may leave the tree a little vulnerable until it has recovered.
If you have any queries on the health of your trees it is always advisable to seek professional advice so as not to place the tree at any risk.