Jump to content
  • 0
botchedashtree

Mature Ash tree pollarded in an awful way, what now?

Question

I had an overgrown ash tree that had probably never been pruned in its 100 years life which was smothered in dense arboreal ivy. As more and more large limbs were breaking off in the past 2 years, I thought I should finally get someone to reduce its size and so I spoke to several tree surgeons who all offered pretty much the same thing which was a crown reduction. The guy I went with said he would reduce the crown by 30-40%, now that should have raised a red flag but because of my ignorance I just assumed that it was okay because it was an exceptional situation. Come this Tuesday, he turns up with his team and carries out what I believe is a pollard/topping and removes the entire canopy. He removed all the ivy except some large vines which would damage the bark if ripped off, but he did poison it so it shouldn't grow back. Unfortunately, I didn't realise the damage he had done to the tree until I asked some arborists on another forum. They said that the tree is now guaranteed to die and I will have to remove it within the next few years. If it doesn't die straight away then the water sprouts will cause me more problems and result in more large limbs falling. Lastly, because of the stub cuts the tree is now guaranteed to rot and get a fungal disease.

 

The reason I'm posting on here is because the other arborists were mainly American and they did come across as overreacting a bit especially since they kept mentioning emerald ash borer. It would be great if I could get the opinions of British arborists on the extent of damage done to the tree and what will happen to it now. Is the tree truly doomed or am I able to somehow save it and keep it in good health? I didn't want to remove it for environmental reasons (birds used the tree) but if I have to in the next 5 years, is there a good replacement tree that can provide the same sort of habitat for wildlife, and can grow to a good size in those 5 years? How often will I have to prune it now? Regarding Ash dieback, there haven't been any reports in my area and the canopy was lush and full this summer.

 

Incase the image doesn't show for some reason please use this link:

 

 

IMGUR.COM

Imgur: The magic of the Internet

 

Left pic was taken last winter

 

https://i

ash tree.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 1

It may well be doomed due to ash dieback anyway. That’s an English opinion on an English disease affecting most ash currently. Where in the country are you? 
 

You would be better to see if it recovers over the next year or two. I appreciate it’s an eyesore of a bodge but there’s no point throwing good money after bad and then potentially worse (ash dieback).

 

it’s decimated ash here. Barely anything left and it was probably our most common tree locally. I can’t see the rest of the country escaping sadly. 

Edited by doobin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

That’s not pollarded,
thats butchered.
Ash usually are pretty resilient trees, so get on the arb assoc website, get an arb assoc approved team to sort it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

It’s a self sown tree that’s grown out of a hedge by the look of it, been flailed and hammered numerous times, look at the base, multiple stems.
 

It’s not a pretty job but it’ll come back strongly.
 

They just got bored pulling ivy off, the story about it damaging bark is lies.

I doubt they poisoned it either, probably best they didn’t.

 

Emerald ash borer in the states is really bad apparently.

 

Up to you in the end, I’d do a proper job and pollard it lower and try to make a decent shape of it.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Can you put any more photos up of where the primary limbs join the stem at around fence height ? It looks to me that the tree may have been pollarded to that height in previous years ..well say maybe 30 or so years back as the whole tree crown is coming from that area ... you say it dropped limbs ? This could be an indicator the tree is already infected with ash die back so it’s a catch ... on one hand if it wasn’t re pollarded or heavily pruned it would of continued to drop limbs on the other any new growth from epicormic water shoots will be more susceptible to infection as the barks thinner.... personally I would take it down to a metre or so above the old pollard points on the fence so it’s easy to mange and can be kept on a manageable rotation , say every 5+ years as that looks like to me how it was originally managed and hope for the best, what’s left now is an embarrassment an insult to nature and the tree.... but if it’s not infected with ash die back it will grow back!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

It’s neither a reduction or a pollard really, on the plus side your shed is still intact! All jokes aside it’s not a great example of arboriculture in any way, shape or form. Depending on the reserves of the tree it may come back in the Spring and produce some emergency growth to deal with the removed foliage, only time will tell. I’ve worked on lots of Ash (Kent/London) recently that have been in an poor state, lots of snappy growth, wilted foliage etc. Those that have been reduced also then have poorly attached regrowth that can snap/break and cause it’s own issue. Is that a school or something behind the tree? If so and it’s in a high target area then future management or the tree is required and a duty of care followed. Looks like they got bored stripping the ivy and gave up, there are occasions where the other ivy stems fuse into the bark and it is difficult to remove entirely but looks like they have just left the bits they couldn’t be bothered with!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

On another note Americans do get a bit more hyped up on topping trees , but the oldest trees in England are usually pollards or lapsed pollards so I would not get too worked up, there are plenty of topped trees in Europe that have survived centuries!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I think taking your chances on a pollard is your only option now. Looks like the ivy removal was a job in itself,  and maybe all it needed. Did they offer any explanation as to what they did, and why?

I don't think many could've  walked away with it like that. Even if they were trying to do some sort of reduction, you'd think they would've stepped back and realised it hadn't worked

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Oh wow thanks for all the replies everyone!

6 hours ago, doobin said:

It may well be doomed due to ash dieback anyway. That’s an English opinion on an English disease affecting most ash currently. Where in the country are you? 
 

You would be better to see if it recovers over the next year or two. I appreciate it’s an eyesore of a bodge but there’s no point throwing good money after bad and then potentially worse (ash dieback).

 

it’s decimated ash here. Barely anything left and it was probably our most common tree locally. I can’t see the rest of the country escaping sadly. 

I'll definitely keep an eye on it for the next few years, I live in London and according to the interactive Chalara spread map, my square on the grid& the one above it doesn't have any reported cases yet. But damn that sounds so terrible.

7 hours ago, Rough Hewn said:

That’s not pollarded,
thats butchered.
Ash usually are pretty resilient trees, so get on the arb assoc website, get an arb assoc approved team to sort it out.
emoji106.pngemoji106.pngemoji106.png

I've contacted an ISA arborist who suggested I get an inspection done by another guy he reccommends so I'll see what they say.

6 hours ago, Mick Dempsey said:

It’s a self sown tree that’s grown out of a hedge by the look of it, been flailed and hammered numerous times, look at the base, multiple stems.
 

It’s not a pretty job but it’ll come back strongly.
 

They just got bored pulling ivy off, the story about it damaging bark is lies.

I doubt they poisoned it either, probably best they didn’t.

 

Emerald ash borer in the states is really bad apparently.

 

Up to you in the end, I’d do a proper job and pollard it lower and try to make a decent shape of it.

 

6 hours ago, JaySmith said:

It’s neither a reduction or a pollard really, on the plus side your shed is still intact! All jokes aside it’s not a great example of arboriculture in any way, shape or form. Depending on the reserves of the tree it may come back in the Spring and produce some emergency growth to deal with the removed foliage, only time will tell. I’ve worked on lots of Ash (Kent/London) recently that have been in an poor state, lots of snappy growth, wilted foliage etc. Those that have been reduced also then have poorly attached regrowth that can snap/break and cause it’s own issue. Is that a school or something behind the tree? If so and it’s in a high target area then future management or the tree is required and a duty of care followed. Looks like they got bored stripping the ivy and gave up, there are occasions where the other ivy stems fuse into the bark and it is difficult to remove entirely but looks like they have just left the bits they couldn’t be bothered with!

So the ivy being left on was also a scam! The more I read everyone's posts the more I feel like I've overpaid oh dear...It took me 2 months to get an agreement from the neighbour to pay 50/50 to get this done (on the boundary), and there's no way I can ask them to do it again soon. I will have to wait a few years at the very least. They applied resolva stump killer on the cut ivy so I think they at least poisoned it. It is indeed a school behind but the service road provides a buffer zone in case anything falls - the tree at its greatest extent never reached the playground fence.

6 hours ago, MattyF said:

Can you put any more photos up of where the primary limbs join the stem at around fence height ? It looks to me that the tree may have been pollarded to that height in previous years ..well say maybe 30 or so years back as the whole tree crown is coming from that area ... you say it dropped limbs ? This could be an indicator the tree is already infected with ash die back so it’s a catch ... on one hand if it wasn’t re pollarded or heavily pruned it would of continued to drop limbs on the other any new growth from epicormic water shoots will be more susceptible to infection as the barks thinner.... personally I would take it down to a metre or so above the old pollard points on the fence so it’s easy to mange and can be kept on a manageable rotation , say every 5+ years as that looks like to me how it was originally managed and hope for the best, what’s left now is an embarrassment an insult to nature and the tree.... but if it’s not infected with ash die back it will grow back!

 

6 hours ago, MattyF said:

On another note Americans do get a bit more hyped up on topping trees , but the oldest trees in England are usually pollards or lapsed pollards so I would not get too worked up, there are plenty of topped trees in Europe that have survived centuries!

Interesting, that could explain why the main trunk is so short. I used the wrong terminology sorry, I meant to say large branches from the crown were falling off more frequently. But that could be because the storms were getting more powerful in the past two years and the crown just kept growing more and more. The Americans were really negative so it's nice to see an arborist so optimistic about my tree haha! The guy did say 5 years would be the next time I'd have to prune it so hopefully that's one thing he was telling the truth about. I took a photo from my room but it's not very great as there's a bunch of fallen ivy and twigs in the middle where the limbs join the stem. From the ground there's ivy wrapped around so can't even take a photo from there properly.

4 hours ago, Khriss said:

Is this on the North Circular?  Abt Wood Green ? One on  there  similarly crippled . K

Nope but it might have been done by the same guy?

1 hour ago, Con said:

I think taking your chances on a pollard is your only option now. Looks like the ivy removal was a job in itself,  and maybe all it needed. Did they offer any explanation as to what they did, and why?

I don't think many could've  walked away with it like that. Even if they were trying to do some sort of reduction, you'd think they would've stepped back and realised it hadn't worked

The only explanation they gave for cutting it so short was that it some parts were about to snap off and the rest was overgrown, but it would grow back nicely. I wish I had stopped them halfway as I felt something was off but oh well. On another note, can you believe that a professional arborist/tree surgery company was charging me £900 to remove just HALF of the ivy? I hate that people can just charge whatever just because its London

 

1000672.jpg

1000673.jpg

Edited by botchedashtree

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

£900 to remove half the ivy does seem steep. However stripping ivy can often be under quoted and be very time consuming, sometimes as a contractor you win and it comes off in sheets other times you are up there with a small
everything but the kitchen sink trying to prize it off! Also London is an expensive place for tradesmen what with parking restrictions, LEZ, parking fines, having to leave the truck and chipper half a mile from the job making for a long drag all adds to the time and ultimately the cost. Think they could have stripped the greenery of the ivy as a minimum.

Key will be how the tree responds to the ‘pruning’ moving forward. If it goes into further decline and does need removing then it is safer, easier and cheaper whilst it still has some life in it. Sorry that you’ve had a negative experience thus far but there are plenty of good contractors out there, best putting your location on here and asking for recommendations rather than just looking at something like Checkatrade or the like and I’m sure you’ll get somebody if you need help in the future

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Featured Adverts

  • Tip site reviews

About

Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.

See you inside.

The Arbtalk Team

Follow us

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.