UKTC Archive

The Art of retaining large confined Highway trees safely

Subject: The Art of retaining large confined Highway trees safely
From: Ian Brewster
Date: Dec 31 2013 13:07:53
Is it cost effective and acceptable to reconsider pollarding 'lapsed' trees 
than continue regularly (3-5yrly) crown reduction of specimens  that where 
original pollards approximately 20-30 years ago. My concerns are that regular 
crown  reduction  of trees would cause an eventual  retraction of roots and 
reduce anchorage   to cause de stabilisation of the root plate. Pollarding as 
in 'French' or 'candelabra' reduces wind sail significantly though may in 
turn create water shoots-epicormic growth. However looking closely at some of 
these mature Elm trees for example and considering their pruning history 
evidence of this does not appear to be the case,  possibly due to their young 
age at the time of first heavy reduction. Another concern is how the 
resultant growths of each pruning technique respond to high winds, for 
example does branch tip reduction as opposed to pollard re- growths create 
greater resistance to movement. Would the latter adapt better to environment 
conditions than branch tip reduction.
Just a few ponderings at this merry time. Happy New Year 
Ian Brewster
Arboricultural Manager

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