Reduction of stunning Oak tree

The team have been working on a fantastic old Oak tree at a private residence in Little Gaddesden. The tree is approx 250 years old and has grown about as big as it will get. It is said that an Oak tree grows for a third of its life, lives for a third of its life and then dies for a third of its life. The tree will in the future start a process called re-trenching where it will naturally start shedding its branches and reducing its crown.

The tree's huge canopy acts as a sail in high winds and it has grown an amazing buttress root system to help anchor it. At ground level the trunk is hollow and you can see daylight right through.

To reduce the 'sail' effect and the chance of the whole tree being bought down by high winds we reduced its canopy whilst still maintaining the main scaffold of the tree. You can see the reduction of the crown in the before and after pictures.

Oak trees support more life forms than any other native tree and are a really valuable ecosystem. The act of reducing the tree would have created a 'cleaner' crown and would have reduced some of the niche habitats an untouched tree would have provided. To counteract this we carried out some veteranisation techniques of fracture pruning to provide further diversity of habitats whilst reducing the risk of the tree failing and making it safe for the family who own the tree. We also left some large pieces of wood around the tree as deadwood and to further increase the range of habitats on site. 


Posted by Lauran Wise on 15th December 2014 - Write a comment

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