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I am a regular Gardeners World Subscriber and have been for many years. At the front of my cottage there is a lovely copper beech tree after which the cottage is named. It is getting very large and shading my neighbour [they don't mind] but I feel it is getting too big. I would appreciate some advice  as to whether I should get it lowered or whether it should not be touched. The trunk is about 1 foot but I don't know when it was planted as I only bought the cottage 2 years ago. It does not have a TPI.Please can someone who has a real knowledge and love of trees give me some advice ?Many thanks. R.


  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    I have no experience of beech trees. But I do have some big oak trees, which probably cause a similar sort of problem.

    Personally, I think that big trees should be left alone, unless there's a compelling safety reason. You say that the tree is 'lovely'. When a large tree is cut back, then that does inevitably spoil the appearance of the tree. I have seen some pruned trees which look really hideous.

    Large trees only grow relatively slowly, so it's unlikey to get much bigger in just a few years. There's no hurry to do anything immediately.

    You should be able to determine the age of the tree by measuring the girth (circumference at chest height). An oak tree with a trunk 1 foot in diameter (3 feet circumference) would be 50 years old. 2 feet in diameter=100 years old, etc.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,003

    You need to consult a qualified tree surgeon who can look at the tree and see if it can be thinned out by removing some branches and/or have its canopy raised to allow more light underneath.  Generally speaking, just taking out height at the top is a bad idea as the tree will look ugly and it will just thicken its canopy in response and look worse.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Rowan3Rowan3 Posts: 4

    Thank you both for your helpful suggestions. I am reluctant to spoil the tree. I am aware that the tree will put on extra growth to compensate,and this is why I asked for advice as I am in such a quandrary !Perhaps I'll leave it in the pending file in the garden ! R

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,412

    Let it pend for as long as you can as long as it's healthy and no threat to people or property. Once it's been cut it will always be a bit less than perfect

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Rowan3Rowan3 Posts: 4

    Thank you , the majority seem to be coming down on the side if leaving it at present . It is healthy but getting larger by the year ! R

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