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JohnCook

Old willow pollards

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Hello everyone

 

I've got two old willow trees in my back garden, one that dropped a branch at the start of the year.

 

They have been pollarded in the past but it looks like it wasn't redone for the last 15-20 years. 

 

My main question is - is there a good/bad time to get these repollarded? I've been given fairly contrasting advise by people I've spoken to am so am really not sure which way to go at the moment. If I had the work done in the next 2 months, would it be problematic compared to leaving it till early next year?

 

I've attached a couple of photos of the trees in early spring before the leaves started to grow (the trees are very green and healthy now!)

 

Many thanks

John

IMG_2184.JPG

IMG_2183.JPG

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2 hours ago, AA Teccie (Paul) said:

over-mature

Please spare me Paul. Do you mean veteran or ancient. Over-maturr is something that should be confined to the dustbin of history, along with topping. I'd expect better especially from a representative of the industries main trade body.

 

The best time to re-pollard willows is in the winter. Recovering lapsed pollards, especially veteran and ancient ones, and ive done a lot of that, is something different to re-topping willows which is, what it appears, from the pictures, what you want to do.

 

A lot of trees are currently suffering from drought stress. If you must re-top don't make it worse for the tree, leave it to the winter.

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They are pretty resilient and i've pollarded them all times of year in the past with no issues.  Probable best to wait till the leaves are off if you want to be on the safe side though.

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Whilst some may balk at this proposal, I've experienced the opposite on a few occasions, i.e. willow trees failing to respond / regrow and dying, perhaps through physiological shock...albeit they were generally 'over-mature' specimens, i.e. older than these appear to be. 

 

So, if you're keen to retain them. and for them to regrow, perhaps consider a phased reduction / pollard over a few years and allowing a rest year in between to allow the tree some recovery...and hopefully to start to develop a new 'inner' crown that you can eventually pollard back to. In terms of 'when,' I'd suggest waiting for the current drought conditions to pass but then crack on.

 

An alternative view, just to add to the mix, and I acknowledge that economically the "single-hit/prune' approach is most appealing but trees don't get to that height / size overnight and, ideally. shouldn't be reduced that heavily "overnight."

 

DISCUSS...and I'm off t'pub 9_9

Paul

 

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2 minutes ago, AA Teccie (Paul) said:

Whilst some may balk at this proposal, I've experienced the opposite on a few occasions, i.e. willow trees failing to respond / regrow and dying, perhaps through physiological shock...albeit they were generally 'over-mature' specimens, i.e. older than these appear to be. 

 

So, if you're keen to retain them. and for them to regrow, perhaps consider a phased reduction / pollard over a few years and allowing a rest year in between to allow the tree some recovery...and hopefully to start to develop a new 'inner' crown that you can eventually pollard back to. In terms of 'when,' I'd suggest waiting for the current drought conditions to pass but then crack on.

 

An alternative view, just to add to the mix, and I acknowledge that economically the "single-hit/prune' approach is most appealing but trees don't get to that height / size overnight and, ideally. shouldn't be reduced that heavily "overnight."

 

DISCUSS...and I'm off t'pub 9_9

Paul

 

To my knowledge I’ve only had one tree in 22 years not come back from a pollard, so yes it can happen.

 

in terms of trees not getting to that height overnight, maybe an exception for willows?

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1 minute ago, Steve Bullman said:

in terms of trees not getting to that height overnight, maybe an exception for willows?

Now you're being facetious My Bullman, it takes at least a week :D

Edited by AA Teccie (Paul)
Forgot to inc response :/

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20 minutes ago, AA Teccie (Paul) said:

Whilst some may balk at this proposal, I've experienced the opposite on a few occasions, i.e. willow trees failing to respond / regrow and dying, perhaps through physiological shock...albeit they were generally 'over-mature' specimens, i.e. older than these appear to be. 

 

So, if you're keen to retain them. and for them to regrow, perhaps consider a phased reduction / pollard over a few years and allowing a rest year in between to allow the tree some recovery...and hopefully to start to develop a new 'inner' crown that you can eventually pollard back to. In terms of 'when,' I'd suggest waiting for the current drought conditions to pass but then crack on.

 

An alternative view, just to add to the mix, and I acknowledge that economically the "single-hit/prune' approach is most appealing but trees don't get to that height / size overnight and, ideally. shouldn't be reduced that heavily "overnight."

 

DISCUSS...and I'm off t'pub 9_9

Paul

 

 

C460CBBE-9223-480B-BB10-2923567BBE73.jpeg

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