Is Pollarding Bad for Trees in Torrance, CA?

Taking care of the trees on your property sometimes requires removing damaged, diseased, or dying limbs. However, some homeowners also choose to remove more branches of a tree to control its growth using a type of pruning called pollarding. 

Because it drastically changes the appearance of a tree, many homeowners wonder, “Is pollarding bad for trees?” The answer depends, as the leading tree service in Torrance explains. 

is pollarding bad for trees - Gutierrez & Sons Tree Services and Landscaping

What Is Tree Pollarding?

Pollarding means removing the upper branches of a tree. This encourages the tree to regrow denser, lusher foliage. Many homeowners and municipalities pollard trees as a way to control growth so trees remain at a uniform height and don’t present any health or safety hazards. 

Pollarding is an ancient practice that farmers used to encourage rapid wood growth. For example, pollarding Willow (salix) trees produced flexible branches to use for weaving baskets or fences. Today, pollarding is mostly done for aesthetic or practical purposes, like keeping branches from overhanging streets or sidewalks. 

When to Consider Pollarding a Tree

For many homeowners, the idea of removing the top branches of the tree and leaving only the trunk behind feels unnecessarily drastic, and has them wondering, “Is pollarding bad for trees?” After all, the practice can make a tree look sick while the branches regrow.

In certain circumstances, for some tree species, pollarding is not harmful. In fact it is beneficial to their overall health. However, not all trees benefit from this type of pruning which could severely damage or kill them. 

Trees that may benefit from pollarding include:

  • Oak (quercus)
  • Maples (acer)
  • Beeches (facus)
  • Willow (salvix) 
  • Yews (taxus)
  • Sycamore
  • Ash

A Torrance tree service may recommend pollarding these trees when the tree has the potential to grow too tall for the space, or the branches spread out so far that they put nearby structures, walkways, or roads in danger. Pollarding can also help keep a tall tree from succumbing to high winds and causing damage. 

How to Pollard Trees Safely 

You should leave pollarding to tree care professionals as it is a delicate process, and making improper cuts could harm the tree. Using the wrong technique can create wounds that leave the tree susceptible to disease, while cutting too much from the tree will weaken its overall stability and leave it at risk for death. Cutting at the wrong time can also harm the tree; the best time to pollard is in the late winter or early spring before dormant buds open, and there’s a greater risk for damage.

Contact Torrance’s Tree Experts for Help 

If you have questions like, “Is pollarding bad for trees?” or think that your tree could benefit from pollarding, call Gutierrez & Sons Tree Service & Landscaping to evaluate it. Our licensed arborists will help you determine the best solution, putting their knowledge of tree care, tree removal laws, and techniques to work for you. In some cases, simple pruning may be all the tree needs to solve issues or achieve the desired look. 

Call us at (310) 324-6593 to schedule an appointment in Torrance, CA, today.

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