You can tell that Spring is around the corner. People are slowly starting to think about trees and tree care again. We couldn’t be more excited, as it has been a long, cold winter and we are ready for some warmer weather ourselves. Over on Twitter, the folks at ReForest London were talking tree planting and a great question came to us from TREA Ontario.
“Pollarding – Do you do that?”
~ from TREA Ontario
We thought you might be curious too, so decided to share our answer here on the CLC Tree Services Blog. For starters, some of you might be wondering what exactly pollarding is. The Royal Horticultural Society defines it as such;
Pollarding is a method of pruning that keeps trees and shrubs smaller than they would naturally grow. It is normally started once a tree or shrub reaches a certain height, and annual pollarding will restrict the plant to that height.
~ Royal Horticultural Society
“Pollarding is a glorified term for tree topping. Typically we stay away from any type of topping, with a few exceptions;
1. Fruit trees. Ex. Apple, pear and plum trees are often trimmed this way to stress the tree, therefore producing more fruit. It also keeps trees at a manageable and pickable height.
2. Catalpa trees are often pollarded when lining a driveway. Every year the new growth is trimmed back to a nub… And come spring time the tree puts out new sucker growth giving the tree a globed shape every year
3. We will do it to Large trees that have been previously topped or pollarded only because the new growth produced after pollarding is weak and usually not safe to climb on. Therefore we will trim new growth back to previous cuts to maintain climbing safety.
4. Willow trees and Manitoba maples are the only two trees that we will regularly pollard. Both varieties of tree grow at a very rapid rate and have very soft and weak wood. In Our experience they tolerated the heavy trimming well and typically look quite good after a year of new growth grows in.
Note: due to weak branching structure and climber safety, anyone that is considering pollarding or topping a tree should be prepared to do the same process every 1-3 years.”
~Calvin McCallum, CLC Tree Services Arborist
That should give you something to think about before you decide whether or not to heavily prune your trees. We aren’t butchers and won’t harm a healthy tree. CLC Tree Services has been protecting the trees of the Forest City for over 25 years and we aim to keep it that way.