Tree Surgery trade jargon

Jargon by trade

The cultivation and management of trees, shrubs and other woody plants.



The cutting down of a tree to near ground level at regular intervals.

Crown lift (also know as crown raising)

The removal of a tree's lowest branches.

Crown reduction

The removal of some of a tree's branches with the aim of reducing its height and/or spread.

Crown thin

To remove some of a tree's smaller branches - usually at the outer reaches - to make the foliage more evenly spaced.

Dead wooding

The removal of dead branches from a tree.


Cutting down trees leaving a stump behind.

Formative pruning

Shaping a tree or plant when young to affect its later growth and development.

Lopping and Topping

Often seen as outdated terminology that can be used to describe clumsy work - lopping involves taking off branches with vertical cuts, while topping involves thinning the crown of the tree with horizontal cuts, often through the main trunk.


Removing the top of a young tree and encouraging multiple branches to emerge from the same point.

Stump grinding

The process of removing a tree stump with a machine that grinds out the wood. The roots will still remain.

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