Tree Surgeons Guide to Pollarding

Tree Surgeons Guide to Pollarding

Is pollarding good for a tree?

Gardening is a complicated and unpredictable task, but thanks to tree pollarding, things are a little easier. Tree pollarding has its roots deep in history and is an important part of garden maintenance

Forest management techniques in medieval times helped provide people with a regular supply of firewood, basket weaving material and fodder for animals. By pruning back the upper branches of trees and shrubs, they were able to collect all three.

Tree trimming, or pollarding are techniques we use every week at Coventry Tree Surgery. Pollarding is a more modern technique for shaping trees and bushes to a manageable size. It is mainly done for the health of the plant and typically for the aesthetics – making it a safer choice when living in an urban environment.

We’ve written a short guide about tree work so that you can understand your garden and maintain it properly. This way you can pick the right tree care service for you or your business.

What does pollarding actually do to the tree?

It is possible to boost growth in certain trees and shrubs by giving them an occasional drink of water, fertilising their root zone with manure or compost from time to time, and pruning them twice a year.

By removing thinner branches or those with little strength, you enable the life force of your tree to circulate more freely and reach all areas.

Arguably the major advantage of pollarding is being able to safely and effectively remove any rotting limbs that were a safety risk. It can also be likened to getting a second chance at adolescence in your 40s – it refreshes your energy and brings back how it was when you were younger.

Encourage a healthy growth of plants beneath the tree. Un-pollarded trees and shrubs act like a canopy/umbrella above the ground. Thinning and pollarding can let sunlight reach the ground and circulate fresh air. This will stimulate plant growth and create a sense of openness in your garden.

Increase the number of trees and foliage at lower levels. This will make your eye level look at more green plants and more fresh growth. Landscape architects know that you need different height for different plants to grow well: some high, some low, etc.

Increase your garden space by trimming tree growth. Horizontally and vertically, unchecked trees can quickly eat up all of the space in your garden and affect its enjoyment and value.

Reducing tree canopy exposure can make the space around your building safer. (NOTE: As this is British English, “top heavy” becomes “lofty.”)

When planting trees and shrubs, it is important to respect potential 3rd-party services on your land so they don’t interfere with utilities. If something happens, you may end up liable.

We recommend that you get the help of a professional tree surgeon before doing anything with the plants in your back garden.

There are many reasons why you would want to pollard a tree. The next question is whether your tree is suitable for being pollarded.

Pollarding a tree is a process where some or all of the tress branches are cut back to one or more growing buds but which tree should you pollard?

Trees like these grow new branches on top, even after they’re cut off. Sometimes, people cut them so they can be pollarded- the process of shortening a tree only selectively.

A haircut for the tree

Pollard has its root in the word ‘poll’ which means the top of your head. Polling used to mean cutting your hair.

If you want your trees and shrubs to get a shaping, contact us. With 20 years of experience, be confident that your trees are in good hands!