Understanding The Different Types Of Tree Trimming: Crown Reduction, Deadwooding, And More

If you're like most homeowners with trees in your outdoor living space, it's important that your trees are healthy and attractive — after all, they provide shady spots for you and your family to relax on summer afternoons, windbreaks to protect your home from storm damage, and some of them even provide fresh fruit and nuts for the family table. However, tree trimming is often a mystery to homeowners, particularly since there is no one-size-fits-all approach — there are different types of tree trimming, and each one serves a specific purpose.

Following are the most common types of tree trimming, their benefits, and when they're appropriate.

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction is a type of tree trimming that involves removing the upper branches and reducing the height of the tree's crown. This technique is typically used to control the size of the tree, prevent damage to nearby structures, and promote healthy growth. Crown reduction should only be performed by a professional tree trimmer, as it can be dangerous and can cause irreversible damage to the tree if done incorrectly.


Deadwooding is the process of removing dead or dying branches from a tree. This type of tree trimming is essential for maintaining the tree's health and preventing it from becoming a safety hazard. Deadwood can fall from the tree, posing a risk to people and property below. Deadwooding also promotes healthy growth by removing diseased branches and allowing the tree to focus its resources on healthy branches.


Thinning involves removing branches from the tree's interior to promote better air circulation and sunlight penetration. This type of tree trimming is often used to promote healthy growth in dense trees and to reduce the risk of disease by allowing air to circulate more freely. Thinning can also be used to reduce the weight of heavy branches, preventing them from breaking and causing damage.


Topping is a controversial type of tree trimming that involves cutting off the tree's top branches. This technique is often used to control the size of the tree, but it can cause serious damage and lead to the tree's decline. Topping can also make the tree more vulnerable to disease and pests, as it opens up wounds that are difficult to heal.


Shaping is a type of tree trimming that involves pruning the tree to create a specific shape or design. This technique is often used in landscaping to create aesthetically pleasing trees that complement the surrounding environment. Shaping can also promote healthy growth by directing the tree's energy toward specific branches.

Ask a local tree trimming service for more information on keeping your trees healthy and attractive.