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Have three mature medium sized lime trees in the garden which are pollard pruned and create the typical lollipop every year. 

Couple of questions: do I need to prune back every year? and secondly when is the best time to prune?

appreciate some advice.



In my experience pollards are best cut back to the original pollarded head every 4 to 5 years, and I would do it about now, when the leaves are falling.

Hope that's helpful. 


and another question. Can you pollard a tree that must be 50 years old but never been pollarded. It's not a big healthy looking tree, it's about as tall as our electric pole or a little more. and its branches keep dying back and dropping off


Nut, not all trees take to being pollarded, and strictly speaking you wouldn't be pollarding a tree that old, you would be topping it, and then managing it as a pollarded tree, but it's unlikely that it would produce the lollipop effect of a true pollard.

There is an opportunity for homeowners to seek advice on their trees from professional arboriculturists on this forum .


Should have said, it is a lime. 

It does have a branching arrangement  that could work but I fear it may result in die-back of the remains and death of the tree. But it's either that or the electric wires. Might end up removing it altogether.

I think the previous owners of our house lacked foresight, it's not the only tree planted too close to the wires. We've dealt with most of them now fortunately



Thanks Dove. It's on this winter's list as is the Norway Maple threatening the wires further along. But I think the NM is on the way out so will just be removed.


Certainly is. That and the 6 enormous willows we took out a couple of years ago. Plus the two dealt with by the tree surgeon  because they were leaning over the road and we wimped out of doing it ourselves. 

will warn you electric board very funny about people working within there safe zone 5m  of there wires my best advice to you is ask them to topped it out away from the lines they should do this free of charge normally the contractor will arrange site meeting so you can say what you require if they don't take it low enough for you then you will be safe enough to get it done by a tree climber or yourself      


That's a good point - my son inherited a holly which had obviously grown from a dropping from a bird sitting on top of a telegraph post.  The holly was getting much too big for where it was, not to mention that it was about to get tangled in the wires - British Telecom paid for it to be taken down. 

Hi I am new here but would really appreciate some advice... We moved into a house last August which has an enormous tree in the back garden. All autumn was a nightmare clearing all the leaves! It has grown even bigger over the last few months and the neighbours have mentioned it to us. We called in a tree surgeon and he advised us that it was a lime tree which had already been pollarded in the past. I was hoping just to reduce the tree so that it still looked nice and 'tree-like' but he says lime trees grow back so quickly that would be pointless, and suggests taking it right back down to the main trunk (about a quarter of the height of the tree, where no small branches with leaves grow) so it will just look like a big stump.
Do you think he's right or could we have a happy medium? This will be quite expensive so I don't want to be doing it every year though! I have taken some photos if that helps, but not sure if I can post them on here?
Thanks in advance!
If he is a reputable tree surgeon, I would take his advice. Lime trees are pollarded in London streets, you may have noticed them. They will grow back very quickly.

Thanks Welshonion. I'm not sure how to find out how reputable he is - I know his mother, who obviously says he is great! I find it suprising that he is free to do it at such short notice this Friday though, as usually when we need to book someone in they are booked up for weeks in advance.

Here are some pics to describe what I mean. I've put a red arrow to show where the original pollarding was, which is where he suggests taking it down to.


That's a big tree and will generate lots of growth however you manage it. Just remember the root system that will be powering all the growth. What the tree surgeon is suggesting  is an age old method of managing trees for growth of new timber poles. It originated from a practice where animals were grazed in the fields with the trees. The practice of cutting at height enabled the tree's re growth to survive being eaten by deer or similar. If cut at the height he suggests it will begin to re grow long poles and will need re-doing every 5 years or so.  It  will look a little like a lollipop. The pollarded trees in London are usually Plane trees, but the effect will be broadly the same. His advice is good in my view, and you will be surprised how quick your lollipop returns, much to bank balances disgust! From there on in though it will be a much smaller job...


Thanks Dan, you have settled my worries. He's booked in for tomorrow

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