Here you can see our work reshaping two high profile holly trees in a north London conservation area.

Before and after photos reshaping holly trees.
Holly trees before and after reshaping.

Although perhaps not immediately obvious due to the angle of the before photo on the left above (looking up at the trees from below), the left hand tree was significantly taller, probably as it is to the south and so gets more sunlight. Here they are from the other side before we reduced them, viewed from the top of the front steps. You get a better view of the tree tops:

Unkempt hollies before our work.

Unfortunately I don’t have an after photo from the same angle, but they did end up almost exactly the same height and size in all dimensions. Honest!

The skilled bit; some might call it ‘surgery’

We achieved this using a combination of battery powered hedge trimmers, loppers, hand saw, and secateurs. The hedge trimmers are useful for an initial quick trim on the skinnier branches and leaves. To leave the trees looking as neat as possible for as long as possible, we reduced back some of the thicker branches further than the new canopy profile edge. We do this by pruning back to significant side branches. This is where the loppers and hand saw come in. This is better than leaving thick stumps at the canopy’s new profile edge. They would catch the eye, and either die back, or produce lots of unnatural looking shoots. Our approach means the trees will keep their new shape for longer. The secateurs are good for tidying up with a finer touch.

With the owner’s agreement, we also carefully removed the ivy from the southern tree before it started to take over.

The customer asked us to tidy up the wisteria on the front of the house (mostly out of view behind the hollies), and take it off the roof. You might be able to see it growing up onto the roof in the before photo to the right of the right hand tree. Here again are the before and after photos. Hey presto, the wisteria’s off the roof!:

Holly trees before and after reshaping

The customer was happy, so we were too:

“Luke [with his colleagues] has done multiple jobs for us in front and back garden in Dalston involving tree reduction, wisteria and a vicious kiftsgate [climbing] rose. He was punctual, professional and did a superb job – all the plants look great and are thriving. He takes real care with wildlife and cleans up immaculately. Highly recommend.”

Click here for the Royal Horticultural Society’s page on hollies.

Did you like our work reshaping holly trees? If you would like to discuss how we can help with your trees, hedges, or climbing plants, please get in touch.

Reshaping holly trees