Linden/lime (Tilia) trees in winter


Throughout Europe you find these Dr Seuss-esque trees with nubby branches

Practiced since medieval times in Europe,
trees have been 'pollarded' for wood and for livestock feed (fodder)

Today the technique is used to shape trees, decrease shade,
and confine branches from obstructing streetlights or tangling in overhead wires

But primarily
I think many like the look of a 'tidy' tree


Pollard limes in summer


With less weight and a controlled size,
pollarding a tree does decrease wind and snow damage 
and thus increase longevity

Yet I was taught in the US
that a pollard tree may have a shorter life-span 
due to the stress of regular cutting
and the tree putting all of its energy into creating branches in the Spring
and delaying leaf growth for photosynthesis

Possibly due to this difference in school of thought and tradition,
you see these dramatically pruned trees in Europe but not in the US

Trees I see in England as pollards include
willows (Salix), lindens/limes (Tilia), and planes (Platanus)

What do you think?

- all photos by me -
Sources: Wikipedia, RHS

 
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