August 18, 2021

Pollarding -  \ ˈpä-lərd iŋnoun

A pruning technique where all of the branches above the main trunk that form the crown of a tree are cut back to promote additional branches and dense foliage growth. 

Pollarding in the Forest Garden:

There are many reasons for Forest Garden farmers to pollard their trees. Like coppicing, the cut branches from pollarding can be fed to livestock as fodder. While both techniques are effective, pollarding is often preferred by farmers when managing livestock. When pollarding, the farmer does not cut the tree down to the ground, so livestock cannot reach the new growth and interfere with tree development. 

Pollarding can also be a useful technique when farmers have well-established guilds in their Forest Garden. As different crops continue to grow under one area, they will begin to take up more space and need certain resources. Pollarding some of the larger trees in a rotation can prevent overcrowding and ensures sunlight can reach the lower-level crops. This also provides farmers with a regular supply of cut branches and foliage for fertilizer, fodder, or fuelwood

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