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tree trunks


Trees and Hedges Remain Beautiful and Healthy

At Patriarch Tree Services, we are arborists, based in Bristol, that provide high-quality services across the commercial and domestic sectors.


For a free site survey and quotation

No job is too big or too small, so whether you have one hedge on your property that needs trimming, or acres of land with trees that need regular maintenance, we are the team that can help.

Dead wooding

Dead wooding is the removal of significant dead limbs and branches from a tree. Light deficiency, pest & disease damage and damage to roots are some of the reasons why branches can die off.

Why has my tree got dead wood within the crown?

There are a number of reasons why trees contain dead wood. Some species such as pines and spruces will kill off the lower branches as they become surplus to requirement or get shaded out by the canopy above. Dead wood on broadleaf trees tends to be towards the middle of the crown and is generally a result of heavy shading.

Does lots of dead wood mean my tree is unwell ?

Some times excessive dead wood within the crown of a tree or towards the ends of the branches can indicate that there are other issues relating to a tree's health. Large dead branches and lots of minor dead wood can be a good indicator of root problems such as honey fungus or Meriplieus.

When you dead wood a tree how much do you remove?

When dead wooding a tree it is almost impossible to remove everything. On our quotations we often specify a maximum diameter to be removed. In back gardens we often specify that all dead wood up to a diameter 100mm in diameter is removed. If the tree is in a public place or over a road we will remove all dead wood to 50mm in diameter.

crown thinning

Crown Lifting

Crown lifting is the removal of the lower limbs of a tree and is measured in metres from ground level. Crown lifting is often carried out to improve access for either pedestrians or vehicles. It can also be used to increase light into an area or property.

Crown thinning is usually used to maintain the existing shape of a tree whilst increasing the amount of light through the canopy. 

Thinning may sometimes include a degree of crown reduction where there are particularly heavy areas of branches that break the natural shape of the tree but generally does not change the overall size or shape of the tree.

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction is one of the most common tree surgery practices. Usually measured in metres, crown reduction reduces the area of the crown as a whole (both laterally and vertically). Crown reductions are commonly used to maintain trees in enclosed spaces or to increase light and reduce encroachment on an area or building.

What is a crown reduction?

Crown reduction is the removal of a specified amount of the tree canopy. This is usually measured in meters - up until 2010 it was measured as a percentage.

What is the crown of a tree?

The crown of a tree is measured from where the branches start and does not take into account the main stem

(the clear section of the tree between the ground and the first branch).

How much can I reduce my tree by?

Different species of tree can tolerate different amounts of crown reduction.

Trees such as Sycamore, Ash, Lyme, Poplar and Willow can tolerate slightly heavier crown reductions as they are good at regeneration. Other species such as Beech, Oak and Cherry will struggle with heavy reductions and may die back if pruned too hard.

It is important to remember that the harder the reduction the more difficult it is to make a tree look natural and maintain a good shape.

As of 2010 the guidance for tree work in the UK changed. Up until this point all crown reduction was specified in a percentage (10, 15, 20, 30%). After 2010 the use of percentages was removed from the standard and all crown reductions are now specified in meters.

A common specification for a crown reduction of a tree would be : 

Mature Oak on front boundary of front garden. To be crowned reduced by 2 meters to leave a well-balanced shape. All branches to be cut to the nearest available growth point. Branches encroaching on property to be cut back to leave a clearance of 2 meters.

What is a growth point?

At growth point is a secondary branch growing off of a main branch. When reducing a tree, we cut every branch back to a suitable growth point along the branch we are reducing. By cutting back to a growth point we are not only helping keep a natural shape but promoting formation of healthy secondary growth and good tree health.

Is lopping and topping the same as crown reduction?

Lopping and topping are terms which Have been removed from the British standard for tree work as of 2010.

Crown Reduction
man on top of tree with saw

Tree Removal

Tree felling is the complete removal of the tree, to leave a stump just above ground level in height

(see stump grinding/eco-plugs if complete removal is required).

Where space allows, the tree is felled in a single section using various techniques to control the direction of the fall. This is a procedure rarely carried out in residential properties due to lack of space. ­­­­Where space is limited, the tree will be taken down piece by piece.

We can safely dismantle any tree to ground level and we have considerable experience in working on difficult and restricted sites.

What is sectional dismantling?

Occasionally there is no option other than to remove potentially dangerous trees. Decay, fungal infection, bacterial infection and simply being planted in the wrong location are common reasons for removal. When the tree is in proximity to buildings, or potentially hazardous, it is necessary to climb the tree and lower it in small pieces using rigging equipment to control the amount of waste material. 

Patriarch Tree Services have qualified climbers who are experienced in the discipline of working at height with rope and harness. 



Controlled felling?

Occasionally there is no option other than to remove trees upon safety criteria. If this is the case, often there is insufficient space to straight fell trees. However, when possible it is a far quicker method of removal than climbing and dismantling the tree in pieces. 


Logs and woodchip produced in the removal of trees are always recycled, and we would always encourage the replanting of replacement trees. 

Hedge Maintenance and Removal

Whether you have a small garden hedge or a line of 3 metre high Leylandii, a hedge to separate from your neighbour’s drive or all around a block of flats, we are able to cater for your needs!

For maintenance most of our hedging customers opt for a cut twice a year to keep their hedges in good order.

Having a new fence fitted? Hedge removal maybe the service for you.

Check out our gallery and see for yourself. 

Eco Plug Treatment

Eco Plug Treatment and Use of Pesticides

Eco-plugs are a novel formulation of crystalline glyphosate encapsulated in a plastic plug. Because of their design, they present practically no risk of non target drift or operator contamination, and can be used in all weathers at any time of year. These are a great alternative for people with pets and children who could be at risk from use of a spray pesticide.  

Use of Pesticides

Roundup Monsanto ProActive is a strong weed killer with a patented formulation containing 360g/l of glyphosate. The optimised formula delivers highly efficient activity which ensures fast acting and effective results on any weeds it is applied to, with signs of decay appear after just 10 days as the solution works its way through the plant right to the roots, killing it completely.


Roundup Monsanto ProActive is industrial herbicide which is sprayed onto green leaves where it is absorbed and drawn into the plants vascular system. It works by interrupting vital biological processes and ensuring the plant is removed completely. Usable in aquatic areas. Roundup ProActive is a professional product not intended for uncertified domestic or unsupervised use.

Here at Patriarch Tree Services we have certified operatives in the use of spraying and pesticides. 

Stump Grinding

What is a stump grinder?

Stump grinders are powerful machines that look—depending on their size and model—a little like a lawnmower and a circular saw had a baby together. They’re designed to be rolled up to the stump and then grind it into little pieces. 

When removing a tree or large shrub to ground level, a small proportion of the trunk or stem remains in the ground. This is known as the "Stump" or main root ball. 

How does stump grinding work?

A stump grinder chews away at the stump wood that’s left after a tree has been cut down. All stump grinders use a powerful, rotating blade that rips into the wood as it turns. The blade’s teeth cut the stump wood into small pieces. The operator guides the blade over the entire stump as the blade reduces the wood to chips, and takes the stump down to well below ground level.

What happens to the wood from the tree stump after grinding?

Stump grinding results in lots of chips of wood. You’ll make more of them than you think, but they can be used as mulch onsite or added to your green waste bin. You’ll also have a hole, since you’ve just ground out all the stump volume that filled it. You can shovel the wood chips into the hole to decay, or you can import soil and fill the hole so that it’s even with the surrounding ground. Patriarch Tree Services does not remove the grindings from the site due to bio-security and the transportation of fungus and bacteria, we suggest the grindings are levelled in the local area to the stump

When should I remove a stump?

A stump can remain in the ground without causing any harm. However, if you wish to replant or lay more lawn, then it is necessary to remove the stump. The stump may also need removing for: 

  • A new building / outhouse to be constructed 

  • A new fence to be erected or when it is just not appealing to leave an old stump in the lawn. 


Are there situations where a stump cannot be ground?

Most easily accessible trees that are removed can also have their stumps ground out. Sometimes a stump has to be removed for safety reasons, or because it blocks access. But there are situations where stump removal may be difficult or impossible.

  • Hard-to-reach trees in places where access is limited or where equipment is too large to bring in may not be candidates for stump grinding

  • Trees that were growing in small planting holes surrounded by concrete or other hardscape materials may leave behind a stump that can’t be removed without damaging the surrounding material, or the material may need to be removed first. This can be costly or impossible.

  • A tree stump that’s close to other trees or valuable shrubs may damage these other plants and their root systems if their stump is ground out.

  • Stumps that are close to buildings or other structures may be hard to grind out because of the chance of damage to foundations, footings, or underground utilities and pipes.

What are the alternatives to stump grinding to remove a tree stump?

Patriarch Tree Services offer an eco plug and poising treatments as an alternative to stump grinding.

Tree Stump


Such as stump grinding and tree removal in Bristol. Call Patriarch Tree Services now.

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