Tree Pruning

How do I know if my tree needs pruning?

Other than for proper tree development and general tree health, there are many reasons for tree pruning.

Blocking sunlight or views

If a tree is blocking light from entering your property, or is blocking outward views.

Dropping leaves in gutters or letting vermin into your house

If a tree on your property has branches that overhang the house or gutter it will need pruning.

Overhanging branches are a bad problem for home owners. It is worth taking a walk around your house and buildings to check there is a good gap between trees and your buildings. It is very common for overhanging branches to create a path for vermin to get into your house, and falling leaves block guttering. It is best to prune trees safely away from your house.

Too close to the house

Trees can create also dampness in your house if they are growing too close to the house. It’s a good idea to create an air gap between your house and trees or shrubs to avoid dampness and mould to happen on the inside and outside of your home.

Recovering from poor pruning

If trees have been poorly pruned ie topped in the past, it is very important that they are regularly pruned thereafter as the regrowth is weakly attached to main trunk. That means a tree prune or maintenance regularly about every three to four years depending on the species of tree.

Removing dead branches

Trees may also need to be pruned if there are any large dead branches in the tree as they cause a hazard when they become brittle and break off. Read more about how to identify dead branches on our tree removal page.

Styles of pruning

There are a number of different styles of pruning.  Crosscut Treework can advise you on which style will be best for your particular tree, problem, and overall health and goals for your tree and property.

tree thinning

When the canopy of the tree is thinned to allow more sunlight to filter through the tree’s canopy. This is the best way to prune for the health of the tree if you’re looking to unblock the sunlight from killing the lawn, or not enabling you to have a garden under your tree.

crown reduction

When the tree is maintained in a natural shape, while being reduced in size. We do this using modern pruning techniques which are approved by the International Society of Aboriculture.  Crown reduction is a pruning style that’s suitable if you have a large tree that’s getting out of proportion for the site, blocking light, growing over other structures, or blocking views.

Tree pruning and reduction

Before:  Tree is creating large shadow patches across the lawn and garden and is imposing for the site.

Tree pruning and reduction

After:  Tree still looks natural but lets more light onto the lawn and is in proportion to the site.


If there are large dead branches visible in the canopy of your tree, it is a good idea have an Arborist remove these before they snap off and cause damage to your property. It’s also a good opportunity to give a visual health check as to what is causing the dieback, for example is the trunk split or dangerous?

weight reduction on large tree branches

Sometimes branches get very long and heavy, and if these branches are overhanging assets, or in areas where people or vehicles travel beneath them, it is a good idea to reduce the end off the branch to get some weight off it which should decrease the chance of it snapping off.

fruit tree pruning

Fruit trees require regular pruning, usually they need a prune and shape annually or at least every 2-3 years.
1. One pruning style maximises a high yield for fruit
Trees are heavily pruned and can have a very severe and stunted appearance but yield high numbers of fruit
2. ornamental
Trees are pruned to have a pleasant shape and look

Crosscut Treework are specialised in both these techniques , or a combination of the two which is usually preferable in the home garden.