Tree Services

Tree Felling

Tree felling is the process of cutting the tree near the base and felling it in one complete piece, but usually trees are removed by dismantling a section at a time. Trees are taken down as near as possible to ground level or alternatively, may be left as a high stump for the benefit of wildlife. We can also safely remove dead wood from trees to prevent the hazard of it falling on to buildings, vehicles or the public etc.

Crown Reducing

Crown reduction pruning is most often used when a tree has grown too large for its permitted space. In the diagram the blue area of branches would be removed. This method results in a more natural appearance and increases the time before pruning is needed again and minimizes stress caused to the tree. Crown reduction can be used to reduce the wind resistance and uptake of water.

Felling and Dismantling

Ward and Wagster carry out felling and dismantling operations in a variety of situations. Tree removal in urban areas is a highly skilled and a potentially dangerous operation. It is extremely rare that a tree can be straight felled and are usually obstacles underneath the canopy of the tree such as garages and green houses which require the tree to be carefully dismantled. Using the latest industry techniques and equipment we are able to undertake these tasks safely and with the minimum of disruption.

Grinding/stump removal

This is removing the stump using specialist machinery to grind it to below ground level preventing re-growing. This also enables the area to be reused effectively and especially useful where if the existing tree was standing in a lawn.

Crown Thinning

A Crown Thin involves the removal of a proportion of secondary branches to produce a uniform branch structure without altering the overall size or shape of the tree. It results in improved light levels passing through the canopy thus reducing shading. It reduces the wind resistance of the crown and reduces the loading upon the limbs of the tree. It is a very effective technique demanding a high level of skill as the selection of the branches to be removed requires careful consideration.

Crown Lift (or Lift)

Crown lifting is removal of the lowest branches and preparing of lower branches for future removal, normally to give a uniform height from ground level. Good practice dictates crown lifting should not normally include the removal of large branches growing directly from the trunk as this causes large wounds which may jeopardise the long term future of the tree.

Common reasons for crown lifting are to bring more light and give access for traffic. In the U.K. common practice dictates clearance for vehicles is 5.2 metres (~17 feet), and for pedestrians 2.5m (~8 feet).

Tree Cutting

"Tree Cutting" is a very general term that is not normally used by professional tree companies. There are three main types of tree pruning within the British Standard; crown lifting, crown thinning and crown reduction


Felling The complete removal of a tree down to ground level. This work involves the careful lowering of branches and timber so as not to cause damage or destruction to surrounding plants and structures. The stump will be left as close to the ground as possible but will be above soil level.


Coppicing is the act of cutting of trees and shrubs to ground level allowing vigorous regrowth and a sustainable supply of timber for future generations.

Trees and shrubs that are cut down this way can produce shoots that grow over 30cm in a week and a coppiced tree can live many times longer than if the tree had not been cut down at all.

Fruit Tree Pruning

Without training and pruning, fruit trees will not develop proper shape and form. Properly trained and pruned trees will yield high quality fruit much earlier in their lives and live significantly longer.

Target Pruning

This entails a small reduction to specified area of a tree in a sympathetic manner to clear property, lights, signs or other objects and is a very cost effective way of managing a tree. It can also be applied to a specialised technique for decay control, which we are happy to advise upon.

Tree Pruning

Apart from rare occasions no single operation is usually sufficient to maintain a tree, rather a combination of techniques carefully tailored to a tree´s requirements. This may consist for example of a Crown Thin, Removal of deadwood and a Crown Lift (See above). It is referred to as Tree Pruning.

All our tree works are conducted to a standard to exceed the requirements of BS 3998 (1989) and comply with industry best practice and current Arboricultural standards.

Formative Pruning

Pruning during the early years of a tree´s growth, to establish a sound branch structure or desired form and/or correct defects or weaknesses.

Lopping and Topping

A term used to describe old-fashioned techniques of tree management, now fallen from favour both as a term and a technique. Unhelpfully these terms are still used in the relevant Town and Country Planning Acts so for the best interpretation see Tree Pruning services above.


A frequently misunderstood term, and used in two different contexts. Traditionally and still commonly used this term describes the removal of all branches from the trunk. Mature trees that have not been pollarded before are generally not suitable candidates for this type of pollarding due to the large wounds that such treatment produces which may jeopardise the long term future of the tree. A less frequently used definition can mean the regular (annual of biannual) pruning back of small branches to the same point resulting in the formation of a "pollard head". Pollarded trees usually require regular treatment of re-growth.

Branch Removal

Following inspection it may be necessary to remove specific branches of a tree, this may be to clear a property or sight line or to allow access for vehicles/machinery.