Crown Reduction - A Solution for a Tree Getting too Large

The tree is just too tall. It’s touching the house. You’ve been notified by the HOA to top it or take it down. It’s blocking your view. There are a million and one reasons why you might want to remove or thin a tree that’s getting too large.

The term “topping a tree” is the practice of removing large branches or the whole top of the tree, leaving the stub or liable branches as the remaining root structure. But this common method is actually not an industry accepted practice. But topping a tree, it puts the tree into shock and many times the tree won’t survive. If the tree does survive, it will have poorly attached new growth, internal decay, and make the tree susceptible to insects and pests.

Read More: 5 common pruning mistakes many homeowners make

The more common method is crown reduction. The leaves of the tree are its energy sources. With photosynthesis, that leaves produce sugars that are moved throughout the entire part of the tree. When you remove leaves, you are reducing the tree’s potential for its energy production. This varies depending on the species and age of the tree. An industry standard is to remove no more than 25% of the total foliage of the tree. This only works if you already have a fit tree to start with.

By Famartin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Topped Tree – Very dangerous and unfit for the tree

Topping a tree may seem like a quick fix but it is really the absolute last possible option we have and we’d much rather remove the tree altogether and to top it improperly.

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction is different as it is the process of reducing the height or the spread of the tree cutting back certain limbs, branches and leaves to create a more substantial tree and the saving the fitness of the tree. This is much more beneficial to the tree and often times satisfies the original concern of the tree just getting too large. This is also less expensive than topping or removing a tree. Crown reduction can cause a little bit of stress to the tree so it has to be done by a professional in order to maintain the fitness and growth of the tree for years to come.

If you like more information about Crown reduction on a tree this just getting too large on your property give us a call. We’d be happy to give you a quote and provide excellent service throughout Snohomish County.

Image of Topped Tree By Famartin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons