Treefella, Tree and Gardening Services, East Sussex, West Sussex

What is Tree Surgery?

Well, to give it it's proper name, Arboriculture, and the definition of this is the management and care of trees and plants.

Tree Surgery is necessary due to our close daily proximity to trees and the risks and infringements they subsequently impose upon us. Consequently there is a balance between their care and conservation in an amenity setting, and often judgment to remove and re-plant if they are inappropriate or pose a threat.

Tree Surgery is the physical manifestation of the need to maintain trees in our environment for our benefit, and thorough knowledge is required of individual species and their habits, diseases and pests that influence viability and environmental issues that may impinge on the tree's health.

In all circumstances the advice we give is based on a balanced interpretation of the aims of the tree owner, the basic fundamental needs of the tree itself, health and safety, aesthetics and the impact upon the setting and the wider environment.

Tree Surgery Services

Treefella offers a range of tree surgery services including:

Crown Lifting/Raising

Before and after diagram showing the effects of crown lifting

Definition: raising the canopy of the tree.

As towns and cities grow and expand, they begin encroaching on areas once covered with trees, and whilst many trees will be cut down there are often trees left for decoration.

However, this can cause problems as the tree continues to grow into the space around it, which is now limited. In these situations, crown lifting is a commonly used solution.

  • Increase light below the canopy
  • To provide access beneath the tree

In many locations, benches placed in the shade of a tree are a pleasantly common feature. In these cases it's important to maintain the crown above a safe height so there is no danger to pedestrians.

It's important that crown lifting be carried out by a professional, because if done incorrectly the damage to the trunk of the tree can be harmful to the tree. There is also the risk of removing too much of the crown, leaving the tree top-heavy and therefore unstable.

Crown Reduction

Before and after diagram showing the effects of crown reduction

Definition:  Reduction of the height and/or spread of the tree through proper pruning practices.

Trees continue to grow as long as they have access to enough sunlight, nutrients and water. Sometimes, this means that a tree will need regular pruning in order to ensure it doesn’t outgrow its available space.

One of the preferred methods to do this is crown reduction. Crown reduction helps the tree to maintain a natural shape whilst simultaneously reducing its size. There are several reasons to have the crown of a tree reduced:

  • Increase light penetrating the canopy
  • Space concerns
  • Safety concerns

It is common these days for there to be several sets of overhead wires around most houses, and it can be very dangerous to allow a tree to grow into these cables. Crown reduction will ensure that the tree does not connect with these wires, reducing fire hazards and interference.

There can also be concerns with regards to wind. Especially in coastal areas like Brighton crown reduction is important because it makes trees less likely to be caught up and blown over in strong winds.

Crown Thinning

Before and after diagram showing the effects of crown thinning

Definition:  Removes branches from the crown without reducing the extent of the crown.

Crown Thinning involves selectively removing branches evenly from throughout the crown of the tree, but without changing the overall shape and size of the tree

If you are trying to aesthetically improve your garden, it is common practice to thin the crowns of any trees to let more light through the canopy. This allows plants which are in the tree's shadow to receive more light and thrive better.

Common reasons for crown thinning include:

  • To increase light penetrating the canopy
  • Removal of dead or damaged limbs
  • Reduce the weight of heavy branches

It is important that this kind of general upkeep be carried out regularly, in order to maintain the good health and structure of the tree.

It is also common practice to remove any crossing branches, to help improve and maintain the structural integrity of the tree.


Before and after diagram showing the effects of pollarding

Definition: maintaining/reducing a tree to a specified height.

Pollarding is a type of pruning which is usually carried out annually and is primarily intended to keep a tree within a certain, predetermined, height limit.

  • Prevent trees outgrowing their available space
  • Reduces the shade created by a tree, so useful if you want to plant around the area
  • Avoids conflicts with overhead cables and other hazards

Pollarding is usually carried out annually, with the best time of year usually being late winter - early spring. If a tree with pollarding is left to grow, without regular attention, it can begin to pose a hazard to the surrounding area because the branches become heavier than the previous pollarding can support. In the case of a pollarded tree left untended for some time, more thorough tree surgery may be required to restore the health and balance to the tree.

Tree Felling

Before and after diagram showing the effects of crown lifting

Definition: The removal of a tree/s to leave a stump.

On the surface of things, tree felling may seem like a fairly simple process, but it can be very dangerous if not done properly. Imagine the damage that could be caused by a tree falling on your house or car! There are also the risks of improper chainsaw use to consider; amateur arborists are more likely to chop off a finger than a tree branch.

We are qualified and experienced and know exactly how to fell trees to ensure the minimum possible impact on the surrounding area.

During the autumn and winter, tree felling is particularly important. At this time of year, there are less leaves in the trees, less sticky sap and the ground tends to be more solid, all of which contribute towards making the felling process as safe as possible.

Why you may need to fell a tree:

  • The tree is dead or dying
  • The tree is in a hazardous location
  • The tree stands in the way of construction work
  • The tree is crowding out other trees and causing them harm
  • It is to be replaced
  • It has taken damage, perhaps as a result of a storm