Jurassic Tree Services can help your Tree SOS by providing pollarding & pruning as well as a general tidy up of most trees and some shrubs that flower on previous or current year’s growth. This is especially needed in late winter or early spring. We are happy to remove dead, diseased and crossing branches, including those growing in the wrong direction, in order to maintain a healthy framework and good shape to your trees and garden.

Pollarding is a tree pruning technique where we cut off the top and branches (of a tree) to encourage new growth at the top. It develops a framework of bare scaffold branches with each branch or knobbly bit then protruding outwards. Every spring numerous straight, long and leafy sprouts emerge from these knobs to produce a dense, shady canopy.

Where does it come from?

Pollarding began in Europe in the Middle Ages. Early agricultural man used to pollard elms to produce fodder to feed livestock through winter when other grazing became scarce. They also used pollarding for kindling for fireplaces. In England, hazels are frequently coppiced and the branches can be cut at different ages – 5, 10, 15-years and used for different purposes – in buildings, to create poles and for fencing, depending upon thickness and age. Coppicing is the process used when a plant has been cut back close to ground level and results in the production of young, vigorous stems. If that process takes place further up the trunk, then it’s called pollarding.

These days pollarding is used to manage the size of a tree that has grown too large for its space; it can also be used to create a lovely formal look in your landscape. San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is a marvellous illustration of pollarding.

Pruning.

Pruning is a technique used to improve a plant’s shape, maintain good health and to encourage flowering and bushy growth. Winter is the best time to prune, as most plants are either dormant or towards the end of their flowering season and having lots of leggy growth from last season’s display. The question is, which plants should be pruned, and how much?

For instance, climbers need to be pruned in late winter after flowering has occurred. We would cut out dead or diseased wood, remove a quarter of the stems (the oldest), and along each stem cut back all side shoots to leave two or three buds. You can gently tie the canes into a horizontal position if they need assistance.

Bush and standard roses, for example, need to be pruned mid-winter. We cut back below the graft and remove older branches to create a lovely open centre. Then remove all weak, twiggy, dead bits and any branches growing into the centre. Standard roses are bush roses on long trunks and we prune the same way, above the graft.

Deciduous & perennials shrubs that flower in mid- to late summer or autumn on the current season’s growth needs to be pruned mid-winter to early spring. We will cut back all the stems to a low permanent framework. Perennials and shrubs are normally pruned back all the flowered stems close to the base.

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