Important Tree Service Terminology

If you have trees on your property, there is no telling when you might need tree service. For the most part, you can enjoy the presence of your trees and not have to think too much about them. However, there are certainly situations, like inconvenient foliage, fallen branches, or a dying tree when a professional should be called in. When talking to a tree service, it would be helpful to be aware of the terminology they may use so you can understand the process. Here are some terms that you might find useful.

Stump Grinding and Stump Digging

With stump grinding, the stump is cut into little pieces and placed into a grinder. Stump digging is digging around the stump to be able to pull it out of the ground. Usually arborists like to use the grinding method because it causes less of a disruption to the site.

Elevation and Reduction

Reduction of a tree refers to trimming and pruning back the canopy to keep it from damaging anything surrounding the tree. Elevation refers to cutting down the branches of the lower section of the tree to create more clearance.

Cleaning and Thinning

Cleaning is the removal of growth that is dead and might be preventing new growth from emerging. Thinning is the process of trimming the foliage to create more light and airflow through the canopy to encourage growth.

Standard Removal and Down Only

A standard removal involves taking out the tree and also cleaning up the debris that is created around the site. Down only means removing only the tree, and leaving the wood chips and the tree itself at the site.


Much like the name implies, cabling is the process of attaching the tree to cables to help stabilize it and prevent damage. This is a good option when the tree may be close to falling but the arborist needs more time to figure out a solution.

Emergency Removal

Tree emergencies usually involve a tree damaging a structure or vehicle, often during a storm. This damage may require immediate assistance and at varying hours of the day. Some tree service companies can offer rush services in these situations.

Now you should have the vocabulary you need to properly talk to a tree service professional about your issue.