Tree Pollarding West Sussex, Surrey & Hampshire

Tree Pollarding In Horsham, West Sussex, Surrey, & Hampshire.


What is Tree Pollarding?

Pollarding is a tree pruning method utilised by tree surgeons for varied reasons and benefits, some of which we will outline below. 

The recognised, industry-standard way of pollarding a tree is based on science, tree biology and tried and tested techniques. A true pollard encourages lateral branch growth by removing the stem or lesser limbs to around three metres above ground level.  

After the initial pruning, the tree is then allowed to regrow but once pollarded; the tree will require regular re-pollarding to maintain its health. Over time, this process will result in a swollen or somewhat expanded top to the stem with increased shoots and denser foliage.

Poorly performed pollards may kill your tree or cause structural weaknesses that can lead to problems or failures in the future.

This extreme form of pruning must be carried out correctly and only administered to suitable trees to ensure their health and longevity. 

It’s best to pollard trees in their infancy, as pollarding older trees may result in their death. You increase the likelihood of killing the tree if there aren’t any branches below height defining cuts or the tree is an inappropriate species. Some tree species appropriate for and commonly pollarded include Willow, Horse Chesnut, London Plane, Sycamore, Ash, Lime and Maple.

At CHAS approved Foremans Tree Specialists Ltd, we have successfully pollarded countless trees in Horsham, Crawley, Chichester, West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and across the South-East. What’s best is our highly trained and qualified arborists will quickly identify and discuss with you if your tree is suitable for pollarding. If not, we’ll provide alternative solutions to help you achieve your desired arboricultural goals. 

Contact the team today, and a member of our helpful staff will happily book you in for a free quotation or give you more information should you require it. 

Why are trees pollarded?

Pollarding is one of our most requested services and keeps trees smaller than they would naturally grow. This heavy pruning technique, most commonly used in public places, removes all but the essential branches from a tree, stripping it back to minimise the inconvenience of low hanging branches and large shaded areas. Pollarding results in a smaller area of dense foliage, and you can aesthetically liken them to lollipops. 

Some benefits of pollarding a tree

Its often presumed that pollarding is a terrible practice and detrimental to the health of the tree, but this is only if performed incorrectly and to the wrong type of tree. The benefits of tree pollarding are numerous and well documented. You can even find evidence of pollarding dated back to medieval times when the Romans used it to promote denser foliage from their branches. 

Here are just a few benefits and examples of situations where pollarding may be a useful solution:

  • Pollarding restricts the height and span the tree can reach, which is particularly useful in public spaces. It reduces the risk of falling branches, rotten stems, deadwood and fruits, which may cause injury to persons or damage property. It can also reduce the volume and spread of leaves and debris. 
  • Trees pollarded at a young age may live longer than trees left to grow naturally (maiden trees) as they are not subject to as much windage or weight. 
  • Pollards tend to grow more slowly due to limiting the tree’s surface area, suppressing its photosynthesise ability.
  • Many arboriculturalists believe pollarding improves the general health of trees.
  • If allowed to regrow for more extended periods, pollarded trees can be a timber source suitable for firewood or producing fencing and boatbuilding materials. 
  •  Substantially pollarding a tree may result in a greater yield of flowers and or fruits.

The most common reasons for pollarding trees 

Primarily, we pollard trees for both aesthetic and practical purposes; the most common we have listed below:

  • Pollarded trees look uniform and prevent branches from interfering with structures, power lines or telephone cables. 
  • In locations where space is limited, pollarding will reduce the canopy’s size freeing up more space and allowing more light to penetrate the surrounding area.
  • Rather than eradicating the tree, pollarding means we can retain it for years to come while benefiting from its positive effects on the ecosystem and surroundings. 
  • In areas prone to flooding or waterlogging, pollarding a tree is often a compromise to complete removal. Total removal only worsens the problem as there would be no tree to suck up the water.

Is tree pollarding a bad practice?

As discussed above, well performed and timed pollarding can be hugely beneficial in certain circumstances and situations. Unfortunately, “pollarding” is often confused with “topping”, an awful practice that promotes decay and is detrimental to the tree’s health as a whole.

Topping involves cutting the tree to a set height with no regard to the tree’s growth points, age, or species. If the topping severity doesn’t kill the tree entirely, it will promote large amounts of epicormic growth or leave the tree vulnerable to disease and or decay.

It’s necessary to remind you that pollarding a tree should be consistent and periodic. The frequency will depend on the purpose, i.e. for general maintenance, we suggest every two years, but firewood or sustainable material production pollarding could be more than five years.

We must also add if you begin pollarding and stop you may encourage damage and disease caused by heavy branches and weak unions.

It’s understandable that even with all the information we’ve provided, you may still be unsure if pollarding your tree is appropriate or not. But fear not; our team of knowledgeable staff and qualified arborists are ready and willing to talk you through your options and address any concerns.

Contact us today for more information about our insured tree pollarding services or arrange a site visit and free no-obligation quotation.



Oliver Foreman was excellent. He arrived on time every day, was polite and responsive to questions and requests for extra work while on site. He and the men who worked for him cleared away completely before leaving each day. Most importantly, the quality of the tree felling, hedge cutting,  general shrub and stump removal was first class. I cannot recommend Foremans Tree Specialists more highly.

Review from Katherine, GU27

Oliver and his team turned up on time worked hard all day in a small garden taking two 30ft conifers down. Clean tidy and very efficient highly recommend them.

Review from Robin, GU47

Excellent prompt response to my enquiry. Arrived to assess work at the exactly promised time, submitted quote within 24 hours. Work done on mutually agreed date and to our complete satisfaction. Would certainly use Oliver’s services again and can fully recommend them.

Review from Marilyn, GU24

Oliver and his colleague did an outstanding job on the silver birch in my back garden, it now has a good shape to it and now lets a lot more sunlight onto my lawn, which is just what I needed. They also removed the ivy which was slowly choking the tree.

Review from Richard, GU9

Did a fantastic job on my damson tree. Left it with a beautiful round shape and cut back some larger branches in a way that will ensure it will grow back into a lovely shape. Left garden clean and tidy. Nice guys. Will be using again.

Review from Donna, GU14

Super friendly and competent tree surgeon. I Will definitely use him again in future…he even left the garden tidier than when he arrived!

Review from David GU2

We got 3 quotes which were all very similar. We are very pleased with our choice. Most impressed with the work ethic, it was a big job with some very large trees to remove which took 3 days to complete. They were completely undeterred by the torrential rain on the second day, managed to Keep working and the job was finished on time. We will be using them again.

Review from Martin, GU47

Oliver and his team did an excellent job of felling a large leylandii tree from my garden. His price was very competitive, he was quick to answer questions by email, and turned up to do the job promptly. The tree was taken down in sections over two days, all the waste material was removed and the guys did a thorough job of cleaning the site afterwards. Highly recommended.

Review from Robert, TW12, Your Content Goes Here

Really nice guy, would definitely recommend and use again.

Review from Charlie, GU7

Oliver made an excellent job of cutting our tree. He was very knowledgeable and I was very confident he knew what he was doing. I cannot wait to see how the tree responds to this trim in the spring! There were a lot of cuttings to dispose of and he even “hoovered” the lawn afterwards! A very tidy job well priced, and would definitely use him again.

Review from Alison, GU2

Excellent job, very knowledgeable, skilful and helpful. Was prepared to wait for the right season to work, according to the trees we were dealing with. Punctual, tidy & efficient. Would have no hesitation in asking them back for further work and have already recommended to neighbours! Thanks :)

Review from Lesley TW14

All you need, quotes an acceptable price, turns up on time, does a great job and clears up both my garden and my neighbours. Many thanks for a job well done. Will certainly retain your number.

Review from Alex, GU15

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