What is Pollarding?
Pollarding is the process of cutting the branches from a tree to the point where the trunk is almost bare. This is done to encourage quick and regular re-growth of new branches and foliage. The re-grown branches are usually wanted for one of two reasons: either as a sustainable fuel source or as fodder to feed livestock.
Pollarding is different from many of the other services offered by tree surgeons in the sense that it is not done to benefit the tree’s health or appearance; instead it is done solely to cultivate the bi-products from trees. Not all trees are appropriate for pollarding; conifers, for example, do not make successful pollards. Trees that are most commonly made into pollards include broadleaves such as oak trees, beeches, maples and willows.
Many local authorities control the pollarding on public land, but it is also quite common practise on private land for people who want to utilise the wood and leaves from their tree. Trees can be pollarded as regularly as once a year, though this varies depending on the species of tree, with some only needing to be pruned every five years.
The Effects of Pollarding
As well as allowing for more regular re-growth, there are some additional effects that occur as a result of pollarding. Firstly, trees that become pollards usually live much longer than ones that don’t receive this level of pruning. This is partially due to the fact that the trees are often kept at a juvenile stage due to their regular cutting, meaning that they age more slowly. Having branches cut so regularly also lessens the chances of bacteria infecting the tree and causing the spread of disease, meaning that the tree is kept healthier overall. Finally, the trunk will remain stronger and healthier for longer without suffering the weight from branches and canopies that non-pollard trees are prone to.
The Cost of Pollarding
Pollarding needs to be carried out by professional arborists, who have the skills and knowledge necessary to be able to successfully prune a tree. As with all tasks in tree surgery, the price of pollarding will vary according to factors such as the size of the tree and how many trees need to be pruned. Try to acquire several quotes from reputable tree surgeons to help you see how much pollarding may cost in your local area and for the size of the job you are looking for.