As weird as this was and still is, and regardless of how inappropriate the technique is for the species, it has actually been effective. The tree continues to provide very aromatic foliage, without growing too large.
Just about any other arborist will insist that any pollard is a bad pollard. I am not any other arborist. I have no issue with pollarding certain trees properly.
Pollarding is severe pruning that removes all growth that developed since the last pollarding procedure, leaving only a main trunk and a few main limbs. It is done while trees are dormant in winter, and must be repeated either annually or at least every few years, before the resulting growth develops into major limbs. Pruning must be very thorough and neat, leaving no stubs.
Most new growth develops from where older growth had been pruned away during the previous winter, with only a few adventitious stems possibly developing on the main limbs or trunks. Distended ‘knuckles’ develop where this growth repeatedly gets pruned away and regenerates. All subsequent pollard pruning must be done only on the outside of these knuckles, not…
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