How does Foxy Arboriculture work?

We offer a range of different cutting techniques adhering to British Standards BS3998:2010 and offer bespoke work on request. If you have a specific idea about what work you would like carried out to your tree(s), we are able to offer advice for the best outcome.

Our services

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All tree services

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Stump grinding

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Pests and diseases

All tree services

Crown lifting is the removal of the lowest branches and/or preparing of lower branches for future removal. This does not normally include the removal of large branches growing directly from the trunk – this can cause large wounds in the tree, which can become extensively decayed, leading to further long-term problems. Crown lifting on older, mature trees should be avoided or restricted wherever possible. Crown lifting is an effective method of increasing light transmission to areas closer to the tree, or to enable access under the crown.

crown lifting illustration

Crown thinning is where selective branches from the middle of the canopy and tips of the branches are removed to allow more light and wind to pass through the tree.

crown thinning illustration

This is the reduction in height and/or spread of the crown of a tree. Crown reduction may be used to reduce mechanical stress upon individual branches, or upon the whole tree, making the tree more suited to its environment. Crown reductions are specified by measurements e.g., ‘crown reduce in height by 2m and lateral spread by 1m, all round, to finished crown dimensions of 18m in height by 11m in spread (all measurements approximate.)’.

Please note: Not all species are suitable for this treatment and crown reduction should not be confused with ‘topping’, an indiscriminate, harmful and unsightly treatment.

crown reduction illustration

A very delicate form of reduction where only selected branches that stick out are removed to make the tree aesthetically pleasing.

The removal of foreign objects, dead dying or diseased branches, crossing branches or duplicate branches.

Arborist man cutting a branches with chainsaw
The worker with helmet working at height on the trees

Minor pruning during the early years of a tree’s growth to establish the desired form and/or to correct defects or weaknesses that may affect structure in later life.

Where a tree is heavily stripped (or has been before) this aggressive form of pruning which is often used by local councils to stunt the growth of trees above and below ground and giving an easy maintenance regime.


pollarding illustration

A form of reduction that emulates the natural process of tree ageing and lets the inner crown take over.

We offer the service of planting sapling trees and can advise on where and which trees are best for your location.

The application of fertiliser to the base of trees is not always effective but if the tree has a nutrient deficiency, it will definitely help, sometimes a layer of woodchip is considered to prevent any small plants from growing around the tree while giving some nutrients back as it degrades. Bone meal can also be useful for new trees or nutrient deficient trees.

An ancient form of tree work used where long, tall, straight branches are repeatedly harvested off a stump, and the stump is allowed to grow back every year. Its original purpose was to harvest the branches for making tools – in modern times it is performed so that a tree can be turned into an easily managed, bush sized plant.


A fell is cutting a tree to its base, completely removing it from the environment. A dismantle or section fell is when a tree is taken down in stages, sometimes using a method called “rigging” where the logs/branches are lowered on a series of ropes and pulleys to avoid damage to the surrounding environment e.g., a shed, fence or building, or even a prized shrub under the tree.

Felling/dismantling illustration

The process involves the removal of the branches that make up the crown of the tree - these are then lowered to the ground, using ropes to prevent any unnecessary disturbance of the surrounding area. Once the crown has been removed, the remaining trunk is then cut into sections from top to bottom, then also lowered to the ground.

Our arborists can help you choose which technique would be the best option for your tree(s) to flourish and suit its environment.

Stump treatment

We offer a stump grinding service, this is where the main body of the trunk below the ground is grind out by the way of using a stump grinder.

This reduces the stump to around 30cm below ground level, so it can then be covered with soil if desired

Poisoning using Ecoplugs

Ecoplugs are small pellets filled with a substance that kills root systems. They are inserted by drilling holes into the stump, allowing the plugs to penetrate several centimetres down.

The poison acts downwards and only on the root system of the stump which it is applied to. The pellets are self-contained, so will not affect other plants, soil, surface water, animals or humans, and the poison eventually degrades into natural compounds.

Ecoplug safety is in line with the EU Sustainable Use Directive 2009.

Arborist man cutting a branches with chainsaw

Stump grinding

We offer a stump grinding service, this is where the main body of the trunk below the ground is ground out by the way of using a stump grinder.

grinding stump illustration

This reduces the stump to around 30cm below ground level, so it can then be covered with soil if desired.

stump grind area

Pests and diseases

Oak Processionary Moths

First spotted in Richmond, they have spread throughout London and the South East. Although the arboriculture industry is trying to eradicate them, they are fighting a losing battle.

If spotted, it is advised to get them removed as quickly as possible and do not go near them as they are harmful to both humans and animals – they can cause respiratory problems, eye irritation and large rashes or boils. There is an NHS health warning page

They can be found on the underside of branches, most commonly joining the trunk of a tree, inside large webs with grey/black caterpillars. They have been known to cause damage to oaks, albeit only on very old ones with a small canopy.

Disposal of this species is done in full contamination suits, carefully removed and disposed of by fire as they are such a serious health risk.

Any sightings should be reported to the Forestry Commission via the Tree Alert online form. Alternatively, people can email [email protected] or call 0300 067 4442.

Leaf Miners

They have been known to eat large portions of tree canopies by late summer. They are not a large epidemic, but have led to many horse chestnut trees being in very poor condition; aesthetically unsightly and covered in brown leaves in summer.

Woolly Aphids

They can sometimes be known to defoliate trees from tip to branches during mid to late summer, then go into hiding in the bark and sometimes the roots during the winter. Later the Woolly Aphid can develop into a small fly. If they begin to pose a problem to the tree, there are various treatments and methods of removal that can be explored. Badly affected branches can be pruned off, and a hose with soapy water used for those less affected. People have been known to use insecticides, but this is not necessary and may damage the surrounding environment. You can buy tree bands which prevent the flies climbing up the trunk thus preventing them from laying eggs again in the following year. Ladybird larvae are also a very good preventative as they are a natural predator. They can be bought in bags which you hang on the tree.

man using special lift for trimming trees
man cutting tree


 It is rarely visible from the ground – you can only see the start of the rot from the upper side of branches, so usually requires aerial inspection. Massaria can cause whole stems or limbs to fall from the tree canopy, causing potential health and safety problems. We offer Massaria inspections, this is best carried out during July/ August..

Ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) and Chalara dieback

Most infected leaves are shed prematurely by the tree, but in some cases the infection progresses from the leaves and into the twigs, branches and eventually the trunk, causing dark lesions, or cankers, to form in the bark.

Although this is unsightly, you are not required to take any particular action if you own infected ash trees, indeed, the Forestry Commission encourages people to carry out only general tree maintenance. Keep an eye on the trees' safety as the disease progresses, and prune or fell them if they or their branches threaten to cause injury or damage.


It is always a good idea to leave the fungal brackets on trees for identification purposes, and removing them will do no good to the tree. Unfortunately, the only treatment is to cut down the affected tree. A heavy reduction can be performed to make the tree safe, where possible. Ganoderma is an especially dangerous fungus, as it rots trees’ primary anchor roots while leaving the fibrous ones behind – this means the trees look perfectly healthy from the outside when in fact they can be ready to fall over. Many local authority managed trees have been felled for this reason as it is a major safety concern.

If you are unsure about any Tree Preservation Orders which may be in effect or trees in conservation areas on infected trees, we are happy to liaise with your local authority to establish the status of the trees in question.

You can book an appointment for advice or tree inspection if you are concerned that you may have an infestation or diseased tree.