Our Services

Crown Thinning & Reductions

Crown Thinning and Reductions may be necessary at some point in a tree’s life to encourage its healthy growth.

When carrying out Crown Thinning the arborist selectively removes branches, increasing the levels of sunlight penetrating the crown and improving the circulation of air through the tree.

The process of thinning opens up a tree’s foliage helping its natural shape to be retained and enhanced whilst reducing the weight placed on the tree by over burdened upper branches. This is sometimes achieved solely through the removal of dead, dying, broken or diseased branches.

Crown Reduction is often carried out by an arborist when the tree’s presence causes problems with man made structures such as utility cables and buildings, another reason may be that the stability of the tree is causing suspicion with either root or stem problems.

When Crown Reduction is undertaken the height or spread of a tree is reduced by removing the leaders and branch terminals to the lateral branches therefore reducing the overall size of the crown whilst retaining an attractive shape.

Such work invariably leads to demise in the tree’s health through injury, decay and losses in the photosynthetic surface area through the removal of major leaf carrying limbs.

Franks Forestry Contractors are able to carry out Crown Thinning or reduction professionally and to the highest of standards.

Dead Wooding

The removal of deadwood is often necessary for trees that have suffered storm damage, from higher foliage shadowing lower branches or through previous “lopping” activities.

Throughout the period that these branches die they accumulate a variety of disease causing organisms.

If not dealt with these organisms can help the spread of decay taking hold in other healthy parts of the tree.

It is therefore not only sensible to carry out Dead Wooding for safety reasons, but is also very beneficial to the health of the tree.

Conifer Hedges & Ornamental Tree Pruning

Conifer hedges are at their most attractive when pruned to form a dense leafy coverage.

To achieve a desirable hedge it is necessary for it to be pruned in the correct manner with long shoots holding insufficient side branches being pruned to encourage the denser side branches.

Pruning is undertaken in such a way that a gradient from the top to the bottom of the hedge is achieved.

Producing a hedge where the top is narrower than the base ensures that sufficient sunlight will reach the hedge at all levels.

Hedges that have not been maintained in this way may be able to be retrained by the arborist to achieve a hedge that is a more desirable and of manageable size.

Ornamental Trees require a different approach in the method of pruning as each cut can have a dramatic and lasting effect on the on the appearance of the tree.

An arborist’s approach to pruning also differs depending on the age of the tree. Pruning of trees while they are still young reduces the risk of decay occurring at the source of the cut as young trees are faster growing and therefore more resilient.

Ideally unwanted branches on a young tree should be removed when they are less than two inches in diameter.

It is generally accepted by most arborists that pruning of trees that are younger than 10 years should be minimal and usually only carried out as a corrective measure. Pruning of older trees may be carried out to remove damaged or dead branches or branches which are rubbing against each other or against man made structures. Pruning is often necessary in older trees especially when they present a risk to public safety or structures.

Franks Forestry Contractors are able to take care of all your pruning requirements professionally and to the highest of standards.

Stump Removal

Many people find, for various reasons, that there may be the remains of a tree located on their property in the form of a stubborn, difficult to remove, stump. Franks Forestry Contractors will remove any remaining visible signs of these unsightly remnants saving considerable time and effort for the property owner.

Tree Reports &


The state of trees can have a dramatic impact on the speed and efficiency of house sales.

The emphasis that Surveyors and valuers have put on the potential problems that trees can cause since the expensive effects of the drought in 1976 has had an effect on the time it takes to sell some properties.

With a local subsoil of clay and increasingly more extreme weather conditions, house buyers have become more aware of the structural damage trees can cause.

However, bad tree advice and poor workmanship provided by unqualified contractors can also exacerbate the problem.

Let us help! Established in 1992, we are local, fully accredited, qualified arboriculturists with an experienced workforce, first class equipment and full insurance cover.

We carry out work for Rothampsted Research, Harpenden Town Council and the general public.

We can provide you with:

  • A speedy response to any request
  • An impartial tree survey
  • Comprehensive written tree reports
  • Free and detailed estimates for any remedial work required
  • A professional, punctual and polite service.

Please do not hesitate to contact Franks Forestry Contractors to see if we can help in any way.


Routine tree management is particularly of benefit for owners of individual or groups of trees in a garden or woodland / park setting, especially if there is public access or the boundaries adjoin public highways.

The tree(s) will be plotted on a plan, individually numbered, identified by species with a detailed account of the health, condition and structural integrity together with any recommendations for works.

The recommendations for any necessary works are categorised by priority so that a management programme can be established in order that implementaion and budgeting of works can be spread over a number of seasons.


Tree Preservation Orders or Areas of Conservation

Whether an individual tree or group of trees are located within a garden or potential development site, they may be protected by legislation.

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows for trees either as individuals, groups or woodlands to be protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). This has the effect of preventing pruning, damage to or the removal of the tree other than with the consent of the Local Planning Authority (LPA). The LPA has a period of eight weeks from receiving an application in which to refuse or grant consent to carry out works to the protected tree.

In addition to TPO’s the Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations (2012) requires that except in certain circumstances (eg. the removal of dead wood) no works shall be carried out to trees located within a Conservation Area (CA) without a six week notification period being given to the LPA. During this period of notification, the LPA will either agree that the proposed works are in order or place a TPO on the tree(s) preventing the works from being carried out without a further application to do so under the TPO legislation outlined above. Trees located within a CA which are less than 75mm in diameter measured at a height of 1.5m above the ground are not covered by the legislation.


In both of the above situations, we are able to provide reports and/or specifications of proposed works on behalf of tree owners and submit any necessary applications or notifications to the LPA.

Even when no specific legal protection exists, it may be necessary to obtain a “felling licence” from The Forestry Authority should the volume of timber within a group of trees to be removed exceed a certain amount. Should this situation arise we are able to make the necessary arrangements on your behalf.

Substantial penalties can be incurred, up to £20,000, for contravention of any of these forms of legal protection for trees.

24 Hour Emergency Service

Franks Forestry Contractors offer a full and reliable 24 hour emergency call out service. We can respond to a variety of emergency situations whether it be making safe dangerous trees or removing fallen trees blocking vital access ways. We realise how important a quick and effective service can be in matters such as these, we will act to the best of our ability to ensure your safety and peace of mind.


We provide a full tree and shrub planting service from small trees through to semi mature, either as bare root stock or as containerised plants.

We have long standing relationships with a number of local nurseries and we can help you choose the best species for your site.

We also work with specialist growers of large trees and can advise on the planting of ‘instant’ hedges or specimen trees.

We also supply a full after-care service to ensure that your trees survive and thrive for many years to come.

Bio security

Bio security is defined as a set of precautions that aim to prevent the introduction and spread of harmful organisms. These may be pests, pathogens or invasive species.

Franks Forestry takes bio security very seriously.

As well as producing our own specific bio security policy, our teams have completed external training to ensure they understand what to look out for and how to reduce the potential spread of harmful organisms.

Our teams have access to detailed information including identification guidance which we can share with our customers, and our external consultant keeps this guidance up to date for us.

We actively plan and manage our business activities to ensure the possibility of introduction and spread of pest and disease is kept to a minimum as part of our normal working practices.

This includes relatively simple actions such as monitoring the spread of harmful organisms in the local work areas, cleaning tools and equipment regularly and the careful selection and checking of planting stock.

We can help our customers comply with any legal requirements applicable to plant health and bio security, for example the Plant Health Act and Plant Heath Order should these be applicable.


Mon - Sat 7:00am - 6:00pm

T. 01582 764594

Franks Forestry Contractors Ltd

Services Overview