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Willow Tree Pollarding

Hi All, I have a very large willow tree that I want to cut back to the trunk ie remove all the branches. I had it done by a tree surgeon 18 months ago and it has grown considerably and as I do not want it to get out of hand want to do the same again myself now in October. Can anyone please tell me  if this is advisable. I am not sure if this is pollarding as such.


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,027
    I don't have any willows, but a neighbour has and he was out there yesterday atop a rather unstable ladder removing every branch. A process he repeats every 2-3 years.
    If it works for my neighbour's willow I'm sure it'll work for yours.
    It grows like crazy the following year
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,852
    The Dutch and Belgians pollard their every year.  Go for it.  Just make sure you use good sharp loppers for the smaller branches and a decent pruning saw for the thicker one so you leave clean wounds and also don't strain yourself.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 63,809
    Pollard ing is the traditional  treatment for willows around the water meadows and fens of East Anglia too ... and now is the perfect time of year to do it 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • You are taking on te Mongolian Horde, but it can be done :smile: .
    “Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”
  • I have started cutting back the tree but have concerns about its health. It used to have 2 limbs but has been reduced to one after the other actually broke off some years ago. it was cut to level it off but has been gradually been  rotting for want of a better word  and now sounds hollow. As the remaining limb is off centre of the trunk and is about 20 ft or more  from the ground I think it may be becoming unstable is totting internally. 

    I have added some images if has any experience of this I would welcome any suggestions.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 425
    As Dove has said, willow has been a traditional tree for pollarding so that the 'whiffs' or twiggy bits could be used (twisted) to bind bundles of other stuff together in the days before nylon string came on the market.  However, no tree lives for ever and pollarding will normally be undertaken at 6-10 feet off the ground so, putting both those things together, your tree may be approaching the end of its life and your pollarding might be too high.  An expert could confirm the actual situation?
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 7,064
    Weeping willows grow very fast but are not terribly long lived trees.
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