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Your Borough Of Poole

Arboricultural terms

As in most works of life, the Arboricultural world is full of all manner of different terminology. In order to help in understanding these terms, below is listed a collection of the words you are most likely to encounter whilst looking into treework related areas.

Amenity value

The environmental and landscape benefits of trees as opposed to their commercial value for timber.


Management of individual trees or groups of trees primarily for their amenity value.

Branch reduction

A pruning method which reduces the length of each branch to make them shorter. All branches are cut back to a suitable fork or bud. This method is not suited to all trees and where applied to the whole tree canopy should not exceed 30% of the foliage bearing structure. The natural shape of the crown is retained and minimises hazards of dysfunctional problems in tree circulation.

Conservation Area

Section 69 of the Civic Amenities Act 1967 gives local councils the power to designate as Conservation Areas, "areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance". Designation gives control over the demolition of buildings and provides the basis for policies designed to preserve or enhance all the aspects of character or appearance that define an area's special interest, including trees.

Crown lifting

Involves the removal of lower branches to provide a desired amount of clearance above ground level. This can be achieved either by the complete removal of a branch or only parts of which extend below the desired height.


Dead branch fallen from the crown but caught by, and resting on, branches lower down.


The trees have attained full size.


This involves the removal of whole branches to leave only the main trunk. In species such as willows and poplars, such significant pruning is acceptable as new branches develop from the pollard heads. Secondary pruning of the new wood can help form a new canopy to the tree several years after the initial pollard.

Root Protection Area (RPA)

The RPA of a tree is the area around its base that contains sufficient rooting volume to ensure the survival of the tree in the event of nearby soil disturbance (as on a development site). The RPA is calculated using guidelines in BS 5837 (2005) Trees in relation to construction - Recommendations.


The third phase of a tree's life, after youth and maturity, when the leaf area of the crown tends to diminish. Veteran trees are generally senescent.

Tree Preservation Order (TPO)

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is an order made by us which in general makes it an offence to cut down, lop, top, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree without first getting permission from us. Tree Preservation Orders are usually made to protect trees that make a significant contribution to the amenity of an area. They may particularly be made when it is felt that a tree may be under threat. For further information, please visit our Tree Preservation Order page.

Tree surgeon

A contractor skilled in performing aerial operations in trees near buildings and roads. Use the following link for further information about choosing a tree surgeon. Search for a trader you can trust from the Trading Standards Approved Buy With Confidence scheme.

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