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Tree Trimming

Tree Trimming Practices

Tree Removal Practices

Tree trimming encompasses many different practices. Common tree trimming practices offered by Collegeville Tree Service are listed below:

Topping - Topping is the practice of trimming new growth back to a lateral branch. Topping is not recommended for most trees. Topping is the most aggressive type of tree trimming, removing the entire top and/or upper section of a tree. Topping can be dangerous, as the removal of such a large amount of branches at one time can kill a tree. Topping is sometimes necessary to improve growth structure, and to reduce weight on stressed branches; despite these uses, it is still usually not recommended due to the aforementioned risks. Topping is only acceptable on certain trees such as Apples, Pears, and other fruit trees.

Deadwooding - Deadwooding is the process of removing dead branches and limbs from a tree. Some trees like Pin Oaks benefit from deadwooding once and sometimes even twice a year. Dead branches in a tree are not only a way of entry for fungus, diseases, and pests, but are extremely dangerous to pedestrians underneath a tree. Deadwooding is less dangerous and damaging than topping, and is reserved for various different situations.

Crown Reduction - A Crown Reduction is one of the most technical and skillful trimming practices. Individual branches are trimmed back to a specified length to reduce the height and crown size of a tree. Crown Reductions are necessary every one or two years on most trees, though certain trees such as Birches and some Maples can benefit from more frequent Crown Reductions.

Crown Thinning - Crown Thinning is another extremely technical trimming practice. During Crown Thinning, specific branches are removed or trimmed from the crown of the tree, to improve light penetration and airflow. Trees that have evolved in forests surrounded by other trees now often grow alone in our yards, allowing light penetration from all directions, as opposed to solely from above. This causes excessive growth, resulting in some trees being unable to absorb enough nutrients to support their own growth, causing the death of many branches; this is not only unhealthy, but also a somewhat ugly sight. Crown Thinning is necessary every one to two years on most trees. 

Canopy Elevation - Canopy Elevation is the practice of removing and trimming the lowest branches on a tree, to elevate the height of the first layer of branches. Canopy Elevation is important, especially on Conifers, as low hanging branches that touch the ground can allow fungi and diseases to spread to the rest of the tree. Canopy Elevation is also especially important for trees growing next to roads or sidewalks, as the property owner is almost always held responsible for damage or injuries caused by low hanging limbs. Canopy Elevation is necessary every one to two years on most trees.

Specific Trimming - Specific Trimming is the trimming or removal of specific branches. Sometimes, a tree may not need any broad type of thinning or reduction, but has a particularly dangerous individual branch or limb hanging over a sidewalk, driveway, or any other place a branch doesn't belong. Specific trimming involves the reduction or complete removal of these limbs.

Tree Removal

Tree removal is the most difficult and dangerous practice in the tree care industry. Tree removals are usually completed by "piecing out" a tree, a process performed by a professional tree climber or a bucket truck. "Piecing out" is the removal of a tree, one piece at a time, to reduce possible damage to structures around trees in an urban or suburban environment. Tree branches are tied off to a rope and cut, then lowered out of the tree. Sometimes, the use of a crane is necessary. Cranes can be useful when a tree is in such a precarious location that piecing out is not an option. Whole sections of a tree may be chained to a crane line, cut, and lifted up and removed.

During a tree removal, branches are chipped into small pieces about one to two inches long and are then recycled into mulch for landscaping. Once all of the branches have been removed, the trunk is felled and removed by our log truck. The logs are then either cut and split to be used as firewood, or are milled to create hardwood furniture. Conifer logs are ground up and made into mulch for landscaping.

Tree removal can become necessary when a tree is suffering from a disease, pest infestation, or has become hazardous and poses a threat to the safety of residents. Tree removals can also become necessary due to construction; if a pool is being installed a tree may need to be removed to make room. A tree may also need to be removed when it is blocking sunlight to other more desirable trees.

Stump Removal

Stump Removal Practices

Stump removal is the process of grinding a stump and the major roots into mulch, so that grass can be planted or construction can take place. Stump grinding is done by a powerful stump grinder that uses sharpened carbide teeth to grind a stump away.


After a stump removal, a pile of mulch is left over. We recommend using this nutrient rich stump mulch as a fertilizer, as the high ratio of cambium to cellulose in stump grindings makes them a very desirable fertilizer. We also offer stump grinding removal services.


Stump removal is often overlooked, though it is considered by professionals to be one of the most critical steps in a tree removal. Stumps can become a home to pests such as termites or wasps, and can also become a home for fungi that may eventually spread to healthy trees. 

Land Clearing Practices

Land Clearing

Land clearing is the process of removing dense brush and trees to create an open field, either for construction or to expand a yard. During the most severe land clearing operations, skid steers with brush hog attachments are brought in to mow down small trees and brush. Trees can be removed for a wholesale price, saving both time and money. We've helped to build several of Montgomery and Chester County's favorite parks, by performing land clearing services and removing trees and brush.

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