[SeMissourian.com] Fair ~ 88°F  
Heat Advisory
Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Pollarding trees is useful and pretty

Sunday, January 27, 2002

You either like the look of a tree that has been pollarded, or you do not. It's not a natural look. This time of year, a pollarded tree presents a trunk capped by a clubbed head, or a trunk with short limbs that are capped by clubbed heads.

In summer, a mass of vigorous shoots wildly bursts forth from that head or heads. Pollarding is useful for lending a formal appearance to a tree, and for controlling the size of an otherwise large-growing tree.

Pollarding, which originated centuries ago in Europe, is a specialized technique arrived out of need, as a means to harvest firewood without killing a tree or letting sprouts near ground level be munched by grazing animals.

Deciduous, fast-growing trees that do not mind being cut, repeatedly are ideal candidates for pollarding.

You can start creating a pollarded tree right now. Remove branches along the trunk of a young tree to give the tree a high head, with at least 5 or 6 feet of clear trunk. You determine how high a head you want for your tree -- it's all for looks.

For the pollarded tree destined to become a trunk with a clubbed head, cut back the trunk sometime in winter to the height you want for that head.

A pollarded tree needs to be pruned every winter, or at least every second or third winter. Pruning is easy: Just lop all young stems back to within a half-inch or so of where they began growing the previous season. Repeatedly lopping stems back to that point is what develops a knob atop the trunk or at the ends of the scaffold limbs. Prune early so you can enjoy the leafless look of the tree.


Fact Check
See inaccurate information in this story?


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account on seMissourian.com or semoball.com, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.