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Tree Surgery - Tree Pruning

Tree pruning is a common operation undertaken by the majority of tree surgeons and good quality tree care businesses. Trees share our urban environment and in order for us to co-exist it has become important for us to understand the tree biology to help us make the right decisions on how to prune them without causing harm. Poor pruning , which is unfortunately not uncommon by those without the correct knowledge and expertise, can cause irreversible damage and have a great effect on the trees life span.

Hiring a Tree Care Professional Company

The pruning of trees can be a very dangerous operation, requires a great amount of skill and should be undertaken by a qualified and experienced tree surgeon. If the target or branch/limb cannot be reached from ground level safety, then the use of a professional company is by far the safest choice for your own personal safety. There are more accidents being reported than ever before, members of the public attempting tree operations that have either lead to an injury or in some cases there death. As a professional tree surgery company, Sunnybank Forestry is fully qualified to advise you the correct course of action needed to improve the health, safety and aesthetics of your trees

A tree surgeon or tree care company may look good on the face of it but it is their previous work that shows if they have the skill and understanding of trees to provide a quality service to you. For this reason you personally have access to our Testimonials and Checkatrade reviews

A Guide to Tree Pruning, our Terminologies & their definitions

Crown lifting

Crown lifting is the removal of the lowest branches of the crown. Good practice dictates crown lifting should not normally include the removal of large branches growing directly from the trunk as this can cause large wounds which can become extensively decayed leading to further long term problems. Crown lifting on older, mature trees should be avoided or restricted to secondary branches or shortening of primary branches rather than the whole removal wherever possible. We will be able to show you what primary and secondary branches are. Crown lifting is an effective method of increasing light transmission to areas closer to the tree or to enable access under the crown. In the UK common practice and legislation defines clearance for vehicles as 5.2 metres (17ft), and for pedestrians 2.5m (8ft). If you have received correspondence from local authority about your tree and its clearance contact us now and we will be happy to call round and to give you some advice and a cost on the work required to meet the legislation. These notices usually carry a time constraint, commonly 10 working days

Crown Thinning

Crown thinning is the removal of a portion of smaller/secondary branches, usually at the outer crown, to produce a uniform density of foliage around an evenly spaced branch structure. It is usually confined to broad-leaved species such as Beech or Oak. Crown thinning does not alter the overall size or shape of the tree unlike crown lifting or crown reduction. Material should be removed systematically throughout the tree and should not exceed more than 30% overall. Dependent on the species and form of the tree 30% can be too much but we will be there to advise you on a more suitable percentage. Common reasons for crown thinning are to allow more light to pass through the tree, reduce wind resistance or reduce weight. Unfortunately this is rarely a once only operation particularly on species that are known to produce large amounts of epicormic growth such as Lime trees. If you intend to keep your tree for the period you own your property it is necessary to understand the cost of this ongoing work and budget for it

Crown Reduction

A crown reduction is technique used reduce the height and/or spread of the crown (the foliage bearing portions) of a tree. The final result should retain the main framework and the natural shape of the tree and leave a similar, although smaller outline. Not all species are suitable for this treatment and crown reduction should not be confused with ‘topping’, an indiscriminate and harmful treatment carried out by non-professionals. Crown reductions are most commonly carried out to give clearance from buildings.

Dead Wooding

This is the removal of any major dead branches from a tree. To the untrained eye these are not always obvious and in urban areas, hospitals or schools can be potentially dangerous. Dead wooding on a protected tree (TPO) does not require permission from your local authority and is classed as routine maintenance. The Sunnybank forestry team or often used by our local Trafford schools and beyond to carry out periodic inspections and remove damaged limbs and/or dead wood. All our team are DBS checked (previously CRB) for working with in schools, nurseries and colleges. However deadwood can also be an indication that a tree is diseased (link to dead, dying or diseased) or in decline. On inspection we will be able to advise you if there are any immediate concerns

Epicomic Growth Removal

These are the unsightly shoots that grow up around the base of the trunk, on the main stem and sometimes around branches (very common on lime trees). These can be removed to give a clean and neat look to the tree. Trees often produce epicormic growth (more leaf) when they need more energy or are under stress, for example if they have had some of their branches removed. It also can be an indication that the tree is in serious decline. This phenomenon is Commonly seen on ash trees in a state of decline

Is My Tree Protected – TPO or Conservation

TPO ( Tree Preservation Order )

Your tree may be covered by a Tree Preservation Order or TPO. You must gain written permission from your local authority to work on any tree covered by a TPO. From their schedule they can tell you if your tree is protected or not. If you commission Sunnybank to carry out the work to your tree we are able to complete the relevant forms for you. Specific information is required and it is important to give the correct information first time to avoid any delays. It commonly takes 6-8 weeks from the time of submission to receiving the work authority back, they don’t like to rushed


In such an area trees are often given similar protection to a TPO. As with a TPO permission needs to be gained from your local authority before any work is started. We are here to help so please call and we will be happy to assist.


  • Domestic Tree Removal
  • Highway Tree Removal
  • Schools Tree Removal
  • Garden Tree Removal
  • Landscaping
  • Tree Removal Preparation
  • Tree Disposal
  • Remove and Chip
  • Tree Removal for Council
  • Emergency Removal


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Why us?


Established now for 10 years, we are a team of friendly, reliable, and above all, professional, Manchester based tree surgeons or arborists. Not only are highly trained and experienced, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of the field of arboriculture and tree surgery.

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About us


Sunnybank Forestry is a tree care specialist company based in Urmston, Manchester. We are of course ideally placed for local work in Urmston, Stretford, Trafford, Sale, Chorlton, Didsbury, Whalley Range, Whithington. However we do cover all areas within Lancashire and Cheshire and are used by both commercial and domestic clients.

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Checkatrade information for Sunnybank Forestry

I am extremely happy with the work you and your colleagues have carried out here at webster.

Websters Primary School, Manchester