The main difference between the terms is where
the pruning is carried out. Trees and shrubs
are coppiced at ground while pollarded plants
are standard trees, cut close to their head
on top of a clear stem.
The practice has been carried out for thousands
of years.There are 600 year old coppiced plants
still in production in France.The hard pruning
results in a mass of vigorous, thin, whippy,
year old shoots. These were, and are, used for
basketwork, trellis fencing and hurdles. Coppiced
hazel rods make excellent climbing bean poles.
Trees with coloured bark such as willow are
suited to hard pruning. Salix alba Vitellina
with its golden yellow stems and the orange-scarlet
Salix alba Britzensis may be cut hard every
second spring to encourage new growths with
brighter colouring than the older bark.If they
are large enough to pollard the resulting winter
display is incredible.
Coppicing Paulownia (Foxglove tree) and Ailanthus
(Tree of Heaven) results in 8-10 ft high plants
with enormous leaves.They can be grown in the
smallest of gardens looking dramatic and providing
a tropical jungle feeling.
The young foliage of Eucalyptus gunnii is a
better blue with the penny shaped leaves surrounding
the stem.This is the foliage loved by flower
Eventually the tree will build up a mass of
new shoots and some thinning will be nesessary.
Cornus alba with its red stems and Cornus stolonifera
flaviramea,the yellow stemmed dogwood should
be pruned to ground level every spring.Missing
one year wont matter but by the third
season the brilliance of the coloured bark has
An application of general fertilizer and a 2
inch deep mulch after pruning will
get the plants back into growth.