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Oh pollards !

Traditionally, trees were pollarded for fodder to feed livestock, or for wood. Fodder pollards produced “pollard hay”, which was used as livestock feed; they were pruned at intervals of two to six years so their leafy material would be most abundant. Wood pollards were pruned at longer intervals of eight to fifteen years, a pruning cycle that tended to produce upright poles favoured for fence rails and posts, as well as boat construction. These days, it is suitable for certain species of tree/shrub and should only be done a certain times of the year Pollarding can be effective in

* preventing a tree from outgrowing their allowed space

* reducing shade cast by tree

Horse chestnut (Aesculus × hippocastanum) needs to be cut to a higher point in the tree, rather than to the original pollards. This avoids exposing large amounts of old wood, but creates a second set of pollard heads

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