Tree Trimming in Whangarei

The care and maintenance of our tree resource requires periodic crown pruning.  As trees grow bigger and limbs get heavier this becomes and interesting task.  While tree trimming sounds simple enough, in reality there are many considerations and some with far reaching legal ramifications.

When tree trimming, it is often crown pruning that we are doing. It is not just randomly removing a branch here and shortening one there.  In order to achieve the objectives of the owner within budget, and preserve the health and structural integrity of the tree, pruning demands consideration be given to a wide array of factors.

Firstly, consider each tree independently with due regard for the it’s surroundings and the nature of abiotic and biotic interactions.  Risk, specimen characteristics, defects and vitality, species and vigor, site characteristics and changes. These must all be given due consideration in accordance with the specimen location.

Secondly, understand and identify the elements of CODIT, the manner in which trees compartmentalise and deal with decay.

Thirdly identify Natural Target Pruning points.  The correct methodology of pruning to initiate the trees phyto-chemical inoculation process and so encourage rapid wound healing.

Fourthly consider, AOUS, Axiom of Uniform Stress and the trees growth arrangements. The manner in which trees builds a living dynamic design to  best dissipate and distribute the mechanical stresses of the size, weight and sail effect of its mass.

Pruning is the selective, targeted removal of branches and foliage to attain a specific objective.  It is likely that the work of a good arborist is elusive and undefined except by the pile of material below the tree.

You do not need to get bogged done in these terms any further unless you choose to, any good arborist will have spent years doing that.  It would wise however to be clear on what you are trying to achieve and the terms your arborist of choice will likely use.


This is the targeted pruning of specific parts of the tree in order to gain access to otherwise hidden views. It is often an easier, cheaper and quicker method of getting desired results. It will also last longer and be less damaging to the trees health.

Dead Wooding

Dead wooding refers to the process of removing dead limbs from the tree. This sort of maintenance reduces the risk of falling branches and helps the tree deal with insect and fungal infestations. Very often it also improves the trees aesthetics.  It’s easy to overlook if you are not overly interested in trees, but it is these limbs that will fall in an unseasonal storm.  Dead wood removal makes no difference to the tree, only to you, your family, and the assets you have around it.

Crown Lifting

Crown Lifting common is suburban areas. It refers to the removal of branches below a certain height at their origin on the trunk.  It allow light in under the tree to other plants. It helps reduce mitigate water logged soil and gives clearance to vehicles and stock.

Much of what we are asked to do as tree care workers is is for aesthetic purposes.  It is unlikely that crown lifting will have any impact on the trees health but the extent of its practice in our parks and gardens is a tribute to the aesthetics it creates.

Crown Thinning

Crown Thinning is the selective removal of branches at their origin. The purpose of this practice can be many things. It will open up the canopy and allow more light to permeate through the foliage. It will reduce the sail effect of the crown. It will likely remove branches with defective unions, rubbing issues and canker diseases.  Excessive or inappropriate thinning can create other problems such as vigorous epicormic growth, decay and insect infestations.  Again, your arborist will know when enough is enough. If you are doing it yourself aim to remove no more than 25% of the total foliage area.

Directional Pruning

Directional Pruning is the targeted pruning of limbs to encourage growth away from structures such as power lines, roads and buildings.  Widely used in utility areas and with some interesting specimen forms being left behind.

Crown Reduction

Reduction is a broad pruning technique used to reshape a tree or reduce its overall size, while maintaining some semblance of natural shape. Its impact on the aesthetics, health and resulting epicormic growth depends largely on the severity of its use. Extensive reductions are best done over time and in conjunction with other pruning techniques.


Topping is a pruning technique used on younger trees to develop pollarding and trellising. It is widely misused to gain access to views and can be detrimental to both the trees health and the objectives of its owner. Better results can be achieved in a more cost effective manner using combinations of the above techniques. If topping is the only solution, it’s probably better to remove the tree.