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Difference Between Pollarding and Coppicing

Mostly, people assume that if you’re cutting down a tree, it will die. Pollarding and coppicing were traditional pruning methods used for hundreds of years for fuel and other wood production purposes. These type of pruning methods can keep trees healthy for decades and consistently regenerate new shoots for years. In addition, these pruning practices encourage the rapid growth of trees in the spring and to make sure a continuous supply of wood materials from the same tree.

Over time, these pruning practices continue to develop into the coppicing and pollarding we are practising. Presently, this technique serves a different purpose. Pollarding and coppicing are two types of pruning for trees, shrubs and other ornamental plants to keep your garden or landscape polished. It is also done to avoid having trees obstruct utility lines in an urban environment.

What are Coppicing and Pollarding?

Although coppicing and pollarding has similar methods, their processes obtain a different and useful purpose.


If you fancy for a homegrown supply of plants that can produce or regenerate from the cut base or stool with plenty of shoots, then coppicing is the answer to your need.

Coppicing is the process of cutting down the shrubs and trees up to the ground level and allowing the stumps or shoots to regenerate from the base for years. Harvested thin shoots will produce larger and brighter stems or foliage while keeping a desirable height of a plant. Pruning should start during late winter or early spring when plants are dormant. 

Once your trees or shrubs are coppiced, you have to maintain it annually or every three years. This is to prevent your trees from maturing and lengthen their lifespan as well.


Pollarding is a similar technique, but the cuttings are higher up the trunk. Pollarding is cutting down young trees and shrubs from the main stem or its trunk. Pruning should start when late winter begins or early spring while plants are not actively growing. Pollarding controls the height of the plants or keeps its crown in check. 

This method is ideally used in an urban setting to avoid trees from damaging utility lines or prevent tall trees from obstructing phone lines and other electrical wires planted along the streets. This is also made to maintain a desirable height for plants, reduces shade and define the shape of a plant. 

How to maintain pollarding and coppicing in your garden?

Coppicing and pollarding have ornamental purposes in the garden, to encourage the growth of bright stems or to produce large sizes of leaves in some trees or shrubs. Remember, you have to do this technique during late winter or early spring to achieve a desirable result.

Pollarding and coppicing your shrubs and trees will not only help in maintaining your plants in good shape but it also gives you an abundant supply of harvested woods that are useful in different wood production or used as garden stakes.

Trees Down Under can provide you with the right quality care for your tree and achieve a desirable and polished look in your garden. We have a wide variety of tree services from tree removal, tree pruning, stump grinding to garden makeovers.

If you want to give your tree, shrubs or garden a makeover it deserves, contact us at 0475 463 597 and we will provide you with the most affordable tree and garden services.

Trees Down Under