Pollarding is a method of pruning by which you can keep the height of the tree or a shrub at a desired level. Pollarding essentially involves removal of upper branches of the plant to promote branching and foliage growth at a particular height by tree surgey service provider. It is widely practiced to maintain plant height in urban landscapes. Pollarding also helps increase the longevity of trees, as the pollarded trees maintain themselves in a partial juvenile state. Besides, the pollarded trees have lesser risk of wind and lightening damage due to reduced overhead weight and height.
How to do tree Pollarding
If you want to do tree pollarding, you need to determine the height at which you like to maintain the tree. Once you figure it out, start pollarding in the right season. Late winter or early spring is the right time for most tree species. Firstly, decide the number of branches you like to retain. It is ideal to retain three to five of them and cut them back clean using a chainsaw.
Avoid rough cuts and take care that the bark of the tree does not peel off. If it is cloudy weather apply a mild fungicide on the cut surface to avoid entry of decay fungi into the pruning cuts.
Allow the new growth of branches from underneath the bark and remove weaker branches to avoid crowding of too many branches from the pollard.
It is important to continue pollarding every year to maintain the tree to the desired height. To continue pollarding, prune the tree annually and remove the branches above the previous pollard cut.
Don’t forget to take special care of the pollarded trees by frequently looking for sprouts and removing them periodically. While removing the sprouts take care that they are removed all the way back up to their knobs. This helps the pollarded tree to heal its pruning wounds perfectly.
Others among the cautions you need to take, especially if you are living near a conservation area, include checking with the forest authorities if the tree you are attempting to pollard is listed for conservation. If so you may need permissions to go ahead with pollarding.
Pollarding normally requires a professional tree surgeons, as it involves operating chainsaw at heights. If you want to do pollarding all by yourself, be sure that you are comfortable with the moderately difficult procedure involved. Also learn how to do tree pollarding by browsing through a how-to-do pictorial manual. Don’t feel shy to consult an arborist when you are in doubt.
Pollarding is the extreme version of crown thinning or crown lifting where all – or almost all- of the trees branches are removed and allowed to re grow. While this is a common technique in woodland management it is also becoming more regularly used in arboriculture and once again can allow much more natural light to filter through to ground level.