This is the glossary page listing many common terms
(as defined by TheGoodTreeCo.)
Arboriculture the practice and study of the care of trees in the landscape.
Arboricultural Association Approved Contractor see FAQs
Arborist professional who possesses the technical competence gained through experience and related training to provide for or supervise the management of trees in residential, commercial and public landscapes
Arisings all debris resulting from treeworks
Bracing See Cable bracing
Branchwood/Brushwood Branches and foliage removed from a tree, up to approx. 150mm (6)
BS3998 British Standard Recommendations for Tree Work
BS5837 British Standard Recommendations for Trees in Relation to Construction
Buttress roots Roots at the base of the trunk; trunk flare
Cable bracing Installation of hardware or synthetic rope in a tree to provide supplemental support to weak branches or branch unions.
Canopy See Crown
Cavity Hole in a tree resulting from decay or damage
Conservation Area A protection order that means the LPA must be informed of any works to trees with a diameter over 75mm – there are some exemptions from this. The LPA then has 6 weeks in which to place a TPO should they object to the proposals. Heavy fines can be enforced should this process be circumvented
Coppice The entire removal of the growth of a tree to a stump in order that the tree will re-generate. A traditional practice used to produce straight stems of wood in a regular cycle. Also used to create vigorous re-growth or reform certain growth forms. Only appropriate for certain species and ages of tree
Cordwood Timber greater than 150mm (6) in diameter and smaller than approx. 300mm (1ft). If cordwood is to be left on site it is generally left in 600 900mm (3-4ft) lengths unless otherwise specified
Coronet cut A finished cut on a tree used to mimic natural tearing. Mainly used on wildlife sites
Crown That part of a tree that is composed of the branches and the foliage
Crown clean Removal of dead, dying, diseased, crossing, epicormic and obviously hazardous branches
Deadwood This wood is often removed due to safety concerns or in order to create/maintain a feature tree. However it is important for the sustainability of wildlife. Where suitable it may be left on site in eco-piles
Dieback Condition in which the ends of the branches are dying
Dismantling a method used to remove a tree in a confined area, piece by piece
Eco-pile Over zealous removal of all deadwood and arisings can be detrimental to wildlife. In appropriate circumstances it is suggested that arisings are left neatly stacked, often hidden from view, in order to help maintain and encourage wildlife.
Epicormic Small re-growth often stimulated through stress and/or over zealous pruning
Felling a method used to remove a tree by cutting at the base and directing the whole tree to fall in a specific area
Formative prune Pruning young trees to create a desired form or shape. The aim is most often to produce a tree that in maturity will be free from major physical weaknesses.
Habit The shape of the tree
Hazard beam A large branch that shows signs of potential and probable failure.
Included bark Bark that is pushed inside a developing fork, causing a weakened structure
ISA Certified Arborist certified arborists undergo an examination and are required to keep up to date with the latest practices, being re-certified every 3 years. Jonathan Finlow, owner of TheGoodTreeCompany has been a Certified Arborist since 1999. See www.isa-arbor.com
Leader The main upright stem or shoot at the centre of a tree
Lift The removal of branches either in part or entirely to raise the height of the lower crown. This practice can greatly increase light as well as improving sightlines and views. Lifting may also be effective in helping create a feature of the bark or stem of a tree from what may have been an undefined form
Lion tailing Poor example of thinning where shoots along the entire length of a branch are removed leaving all the foliage at the end of the branch. This practice increases the chance of branch failure due to the exaggerated weighting and results in profuse epicormic regrowth
LPA Local Planning Authority
Pollard Pruning technique that begins on young trees, in which the tree crown is regularly cut back to bare branches. Used to maintain trees at a certain height and shape but must be begun when the tree is young. Only suitable for certain species
Pruning cutting away unwanted or damaged parts of a plant
Reaction wood Wood formed, often as strengthening material, on a weakened part of the tree
Reduction Method of reducing the height and most often also the spread of a tree by cutting branches to laterals that are large enough to support the growth of the limb. The aim is most usually to leave a natural shape
Re-shape as it sounds, using different pruning methods, e.g. selective reduction
Ringwood Timber larger than approx. 300mm (1ft) in diameter. If this wood is to be left on site it is usually done so in lengths that are able to be split with an axe (approx. 300mm length and less)
Sail Area the area of the tree that is affected by the wind
Scaffold branchesThe main structural branches within the crown of a tree
Selective reduction This is used where an overall reduction is unnecessary or inappropriate. The overall effect is usually to bring in branches that are outside the uniformity of the crown or those that are causing particular problems or concern
Stem The trunk of the tree
Sucker Shoot arising from the roots
Thinning The removal of small branch growth from throughout the crown of a tree. This technique is used to provide air/light/wind penetration through the crown of a tree and to lighten the weight of the branches whilst maintaining the essential shape of the tree. See also Lion Tailing
TPO Tree Preservation Order. Proposed works to a tree with a TPO on it must be submitted to the LPA. They will then usually take up to 8 weeks in which to reach a decision. There are some exemptions from this. Heavy fines can be incurred if this procedure is not followed
Tracery Used in reference to the branches. The pattern/structure of the trees branches.
Tree surgeon see arborist, although some tree care professionals would make the distinction that an arborist has spent more time studying and understanding. I make no real distinction, it all becomes confusing andpossibly a little pretentious. I think you have good tree surgeons, bad tree surgeons and many shades of tree surgeon/arborist/smarborist.
Tree surgery generally interpreted as the practical craft within arboriculture, although, see tree surgeon above
Whorl A group of branches arising from the same level on a stem
Windthrow the failure of an entire tree due to the action of the wind
Woodchip A chipping machine is used to process branchwood. This creates woodchip that is used in suppressing weeds, covering pathways and creating a feature where once there may have been poor grass/soil cover. Please ask for details. It is usually possible to leave resultant woodchip on site