What Exactly is Tree Pollarding? - Arbor Safe

What Exactly is Tree Pollarding? - Arbor Safe

There are several different types of tree trimming or pruning. Many of them have different names because they’re different techniques and use different tools. They also have different objectives. Skinning a palm tree helps to reduce insect infestation and also has cosmetic benefits. Pruning a fruit tree helps it grow better. Lopping a tree is a last resort option for a tree that has been poorly maintained. One of the better options, especially if you want to avoid lopping a tree, is pollarding.

What is Pollarding?

Pollarding is a process that requires a few attempts to complete. In short, pollarding involves cutting the tops of trees repeatedly until the tree no longer grows upward. As a tree grows, it grows upward and outward. The trunk grows upwards and produces new branches as it does. When a tree is pollarded, the upper branches are cut off. When the branches are cut off a tree, it seals up that wounded area. The next growing season, new growth will likely spring up from buds that haven’t been sealed up. The tree trimmers will return again the next year and cut the top branches again. After a few years of doing this, the upper parts of the tree will form dense knuckles of sealed wood that no longer sustains new growth. The tree will cease to grow upward; instead, it will grow outward and more dense.

Why Pollard a Tree?

There are several reasons to pollard trees. It has been popular since at least Medieval Europe for its benefits. For one, research has found that pollarding keeps a tree in a less mature state; therefore, they live longer than trees that are not pollarded. Furthermore, trees that are pollarded are not as tall. That means they’re not as susceptible to stress from high winds. If you live in an area prone t storms, that can be a lifesaver. Also, the trees grow much denser and lower ot the ground.

Many farmers or ranchers pollard their trees so that they can use the foliage in feed. Some citrus farmers pollard their trees so that the fruit is easier to pick. Many people who live in residential areas choose it so that they don’t have trees so large they endanger life or property. Also, you won’t obstruct your neighbors’ view. You’ll likely be able to prune the lower branches of a pollarded tree yourself; you’ll still need professionals to do the initial pollarding and any subsequent trimming beyond your reach.

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