Pollarding is a Type of Tree Maintenance, but it’s not For Everyone

Pollarding, also known as “lopping” or “topping” has been found to be mentioned as far back as Roman times, when Propertius (a Latin Poet) mentioned it during the 1st century BCE. The reasons for tree pollarding back in ancient times was to create fodder to feed livestock or to gain firewood. In the modern world, pollarding is a method of trimming trees to control their shape and size and for aesthetic purposes.

Pollarding should be done by a professional arborist who knows how and where to cut the tree, without causing any damage to its health. This technique is sometimes used on trees that need their size to be controlled due to; power lines, a building, other trees or some other kind of restrictive element. A pollarded tree will mean its branches are cut back nearly to the trunk, creating quite a bare, lollipop look.

Is Pollarding Good for Trees?

Only young trees should be pollarded that will regrow faster and are less susceptible to disease. Pollard tree pruning is best to be undertaken during the winter while the tree is dormant. Not all trees are suitable for pollarding. Some types suitable are;

  • Beechs
  • Oaks
  • Chestnuts
  • Willows
  • Hornbeam
  • Lime

How Often Should You Pollard a Tree?

Consult your local arborist to see if your tree is suitable for pollarding. Once you’ve decided to pollard your tree, you need to keep it up. Depending on why you’re pollarding your tree, this will determine how often you should attend to it.

If you’re pollarding your tree for aesthetic purposes or to reduce its size, this should be done every two years. Pollarding for firewood purposes will mean you can undertake pollard tree pruning every five years.

Is Pollarding Right For Your Tree?

If you have an unruly tree in your yard that’s growing threateningly near your home or power lines, pollarding could be a way to control its size. Be aware that pollarding will give your tree a very different look, cutting branches right back to the trunk. This look is not for everyone, but if you like the minimalist unusual look you will like it.

Tree pruning is another great way to control the growth of your tree.  Tree pruning should be carried out by a level 3 or trade qualified Arborist and should be carried out to Australian Standards AS4373 (2007) Pruning Of Amenity Trees.  Pruning will remove dead, damaged and overgrown branches and get rid of branches that could be creeping near to your home to cause a nuisance. To get advice on whether tree pollarding or tree pruning is right for your overgrown tree, talk to a professional arborist in Brisbane.