Our gardens feel the same, they need the sunshine to thrive so at this time of year it is wise to start thinking about ways to bring light into your garden. Increasing the amount of light into your garden can help keep your plants, tree and hedges healthy for the coming months.
Sunlight and air help with disease prevention and growth. Trees are a big culprit of blocking out light, but you don’t need to have them removed to let light into your garden. The best way to bring some light through your trees is by thinning the crown.
Crown Thinning will allow the tree to keep strong and will allow appropriate light into your garden. The most common reasons for crown thinning are to allow more light to pass through the tree, reduce wind resistance and reduce weight (though this does not necessarily reduce leverage on the structure).
Crown Thinning is a general pruning, usually around the edges of the tree’s canopy, to reduce its shade density and the weight of foliage bringing that glorious sunshine into your garden. A general thinning will improve air circulation too, which helps to prevent fungal and pest problems.
Before you do anything though, it is worth checking that there are no Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) in force, particularly if your planning drastic action.
Crown thinning does not alter the overall size of shape of the tree, it should need exceed the stated percentage and not more than 30% overall.
Crown Lifting is another way to let more light through a tree. A lift concentrates on the underside of the tree’s canopy, removing lower branches to allow for better light or access underneath, for example, to move a lawn.
Crown lifting is an effective method of increasing light transmission to areas close to the tree or to enable access under the crown, but it should be restricted to less than 15% of the live crown height and leave the crown at least two thirds of the total height of the tree.
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.