What Are the Different Types of Tree Trimming?

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Tree trimming involves a lot more than people tend to realize. Unfortunately, most property owners don’t take the time to research proper tree trimming until things get out of hand. 

Tree experts employ different trimming techniques or strategies based on the final goals. As seasoned tree pruning and trimming experts, we’ll explore the different types of tree trimming and how they affect a tree’s appearance and health.  

Crown Reduction 

Crown reduction aims at controlling a tree’s size while maintaining its crown’s shape. Arborists focus on decreasing the tree’s height by cutting the limbs on the uppermost portion of the tree canopy. They only cut branches to a certain extent to ensure fast healing and proper growth when forming a new crown. 

Crown Cleaning/Deadwooding 

Crown cleaning involves the selective removal of all the dead, dying, broken, weak, or diseased branches of a tree. Leaving a tree to accumulate too many weak or dead branches could result in injury or property damage, especially in public areas. Arborists often combine crown cleaning with a general thin. Remember to use proper pruning techniques to protect your tree. 

Crown Thinning 

This trimming technique involves selectively removing some branches to allow more light penetration and airflow. As one of the most popular types of tree trimming, it typically combines crown cleaning with selective branch removal to reduce strain on the tree and help promote the healing of old wounds. 

Crown Raising

To raise a tree’s crown means trimming the lower branches to provide clearance for vehicles, pedestrians, and buildings. Besides making a tree look more elegant, crown raising can increase the amount of light that reaches the ground beneath a tree. 


Pollarding aims to promote compact growth by removing a tree’s upper branches. People often practice pollarding to control the shape and size of ornamental trees like maples and elms. While some trees can potentially benefit from pollarding, it can harm your tree if done incorrectly. 

Heading or Topping 

Topping involves cutting the top off a tree to reduce its height, a practice you should avoid if possible. While topping may seem effective at reducing a tree’s size, the practice often leaves stubs that make the tree more susceptible to pests and disease. 

Topping can also accelerate the aging process and encourage the growth of weak branches. 

Get in Touch With Your Local Tree Experts 

If you want healthy trees that flourish for years, trust the certified arborists at Monster Tree Service of Greater Austin for expert tree services that count. We take the guesswork out of taking care of trees and offer the following professional services: 

  • Emergency tree removal services   

  • Tree trimming and pruning   

  • Stump grinding   

  • Plant health care   

  • Storm damage cleanup 

Call us at (512) 641-5638 to request a free estimate for tree service in Austin, Texas, or nearby areas throughout Austin. Reach out for more information about the different types of tree trimming or to learn how to recognize when trees should be trimmed.