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Mature beech trees reduction

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Afternoon peoples,


I have a job to crown reduce 3 mature beech trees with the desired outcome being sunlight on the grounds. The job is now potentially expanding to include another 8 beech trees further down the road. 2 of the trees have dropped large branches in the past but none look particularly bad now (the main one in the photo is in the garden, others are roadside or in a field opposite).


I have searched and read through numerous posts about working on beech trees and I'm aware that the general consensus seems to be crown lift and thin if possible and avoid any large cuts. Unfortunately this won't get the desired result for the customer and there are no TPO on the trees so if i dont do the work someone else will.


Given this, im looking for advice the following options (please excuse my terminology if not correct!)

1. Top / pollard all of them

2. Top / pollard every other one

3. Completely remove other other one and raise and thin the rest.


I know these arent great options but as i said, the work is going to be done by someone so im just trying to talk the customer into the best option that they'll be happy with. Id really appreciate some more experienced peoples input as it's a large number of beautiful, mature trees and i really want to make the best of a potentially bad situation.


Please do suggest other options that ive undoubtedly missed.


I have attached an example of some of them but in the photo those have already been lifted numerous times and the 3 main ones are a similar size but haven't been lifted much at all.


Thank you




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Thanks for the quick reply. 25% just won't be enough for the customer and even that would mean cuts larger than should be done.


In the photo you can see the row in the background, they are about the same size as the one in the garden. Have attached another from a different angle. You can just about see in the far left a stump from another beech in that row that cracked and came down few years back.


Edit: added extra photo that shows 1 of the 3 trees in the field, it's the one in the background, just added so you can see the difference in how low the branches are compared to other ones that have been previously worked on.



Edited by Newman Maintenance
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You need to show the customer some pictures of trees that have been hammered and explain that they will actually get LESS light through the dense, vigorous regrowth.


Your original 3rd option may be the best, but don’t overthin them, beeches don’t like it.

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I certainly wouldn’t pollard or top them as others have agreed. Trees or rows of them like them should be seen as assets and valued. I appreciate that it is a balancing act between what the customer wants and delivering a suitable solution. In terms of a reduction you could probably look towards a max of 3 - 4m looking at those pics. As long as they were all cut to growth I would expect them to come back and continue. If you hammer them then they may panic and put on prolific re growth meaning the shading becomes an issue again.

I can see they have been lifted over the highway previously and left lower over the garden side. You could crown lift over the garden, maybe not to the extent of the other side but to give some balance. This will let more light in and in conjunction with a crown reduction a good option? You would have to make sure that you didn’t leave them looking like little lollipop trees though.

As you say if they aren’t TPO’d or in a CA then you are free to do what you/the customer wants. If I were quoting the job I would be looking to try and retain them and outline the benefits of having them, but appreciate sometimes customers aren’t interested and as you say if you don’t do it then somebody else will. Maybe when you give them the cost to fell they may have a rethink.

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One of those jobs where your “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”. As you say if you don’t do it someone else will so I would try to get the job whilst trying to retain your reputation - that will be difficult because it sounds like the client wants them well and truly trashed😳. BS 3998 is after all only a guide! Taking out some trees may be the option but bare in mind you could open up the remaining ones to prevailing winds they’ve never experienced in the past and that road is already going to effect the shallow root plate. The remaining trees will also eventually grow to try and fill the gaps? You’ll probably have to reduce their height not only for light but to reduce the sail. Interested that one as already snapped off or was it a partial failure, the gnarly twisted one in the first photo looks suspect so could be a candidate for removal? Consider also removing the lot on the grounds side and retain the one’s over the road as whatever you do to appease the client is not going to look pretty and a clump of trees obviously throw less of a shadow through the day than a line of trees? Replant with beach and it won’t be your problem cos you’ll be retired before they’re a problem again. Good luck with it.

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