Friday, January 14, 2011

Pollarding? Will we or wont we?

Pollarding is a technique in which the heads of main branches are cut back to promote a more bushy growth of foliage. This helps to maintain the tree's size and shape while encouraging dense, vigorous growth. With annual attention, trees can be maintained at a specific height for centuries. Pollarding of trees is not common in Australian gardens.  But then neither were clipped box hedges until relatively recently.  Or olive trees in tubs. Look at these pollarded London Plane trees at the Filoli estate in California.  I love the sculptural qualities of these. They are both elegant and practical, allowing winter sun to flood through whilst providing deep pools of summer shade.

The London Plane planted five years ago to shade the Wine Cellar at The Drip is now nearing the size where we should consider whether to commence pollarding.  But does pollarding a tree add yet another high maintainence element to the overall garden design?  

I figure that it is roughly three hours work once a year to achieve this.  And surely that is  a worthwhile investment of time to gain high visual impact and effective shade provision in these increasingly hot summers?.

1 comment:

  1. It turned out to be only two hours works to achieve the desired result.