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Thursday 10 April 2008 3.16pm
It seems to be the flavour of the season in Southwark and Lambeth.

Normally, from my living room, I can see about a third of the London Eye in the summer and half of it in winter due to the presence of foliage or not.

This has all changed this week as I suddenly realised I could see roughly two thirds of the wheel and most of the Houses of Parliament as the trees between me and these buildings have been pollarded. I have lived in SE1 for almost 15 now and do not recall noticing this practice before.

So, can someone please explain pollarding to me - the reasoning behind it, how long a tree takes to recover, how often it is done, etc?

Thanks in advance.
Thursday 10 April 2008 3.54pm
It's actually called "Crown Topping" and is done every two years or so on large trees to prevent big heavy branches breaking off naturally(as they would in a wood with no harm done except to the odd passing rabbit). It should take about two years to be back to its old self, but this year should give a decent show too. At least, I hope so - my favourite silver maple was given a severe trim this time round. Still, it was lucky - some phillistines wanted it removed altogether!
Thursday 10 April 2008 3.57pm
Ooops _ :

Has Good Old Southwark got it wrong again???
Thursday 10 April 2008 7.17pm
Southwark did this at the top end of Tooley Street in front of London Bridge tube last year and totally massacred the trees there and took all the foliage off the grey/dirty concrete wall by the RV1 bus stop. Whilst I appreciate the need to be mindful as a public authority of possible litigation as a result of dangerous growth - this was frankly mindless, council sponsored vandalism! The look of the road still has not recovered and they clearly emply idiots to do the "Crown topping" as they do not know the Crown from the trunk!
Friday 11 April 2008 9.54am
Ah, but the London Plane is very happy to be pollarded (see link). That and its happy resistance to pollution explains why it is so widely used in cities.

Personally I think Southwark has a very healthy attitude to pollarding its trees. I also love the way that it means the trees change their shape year-on-year.
Friday 11 April 2008 1.08pm
If it's done every two years, why not do every other tree every year so that we do not have this completely de-nuded look?
Monday 14 April 2008 4.13pm
Has anyone living in LB Lambeth had trees outside their home pollarded or cut back in any way recently? Without fail in Autumn the leaves block our guttering with the result of water coming into our front room as the downpipe blocks. The only way we can unblock this is by climbing out onto the 'trough' guttering every week - not that safe when you are third floor! Despite the tree being on the pavement LB Lambeth refuse to takdo anything. This has been going on for years.
Monday 14 April 2008 4.34pm
Fit mesh to the top of the guttering.

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