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Pollarding is a woodland management method of encouraging lateral branches by cutting off a tree stem or minor branches two or three metres above ground level.
The tree is then allowed to regrow after the initial cutting, but once begun, pollarding requires regular maintenance by pruning. This will eventually result in a somewhat expanded (or swollen) top to the tree trunk with multiple new side and top shoots growing from it.
A tree that has been pollarded is known as a pollard. A tree which has been allowed to grow without being cut as a pollard (or coppice stool) is called a maiden or maiden tree. Pollarding older trees may result in the death of the tree, especially if there are no branches below the cut, or the tree is of an inappropriate species. Pollarding is sometimes abused in attempts to curb the growth of older or taller trees but when performed properly it is useful in the practice of arboriculture for tree management.
Pollard trees may attain much greater ages than maiden trees because they are maintained in a partially juvenile state, and they do not have the weight and windage of the top part of the tree. Older pollards often become hollow, and so can be difficult to age accurately. Pollards tend to grow more slowly than maiden trees, with narrower growth rings in the years immediately after cutting.
For more information about Heritage Arboriculture Ltd or to book an appointment to discuss your trees, please call us on 01234 720801.
Heritage Arboriculture ltd
Creating a Healthy and Beautiful Environment