Coppicing & Pollarding

Hello, my name is David Mattern from Chanticleer garden and I'm gonna talk a little bit

today about coppicing and pollarding. So coppicing and pollarding is a pruning

technique to cutting a woody shrub or tree down to the ground to encourage new whippy growth.

So coppicing is pruning all the way down at the ground level and pollarding is

leaving a bit of a stem and cutting back to that stem every year so this is an

example of pollarding in the garden this is Cotinus coggygria Golden Spirit

With the new growth having that nice chartreuse foliage so pollarding you can

have you have a certain level trunk it can be any size it can be single or

also multiple trunks this one's multi trunked. I'm pruning it at

the height of the wall to kind of keep it in scale you'll often see that a lot

in the landscape and in the garden for the reason for coppicing and pollarding

is to kind of keep things in scale with the garden. So what I'm doing here is I

will prune all of the new growth back to the the stumps every winter so in the

wintertime it's just part of our winter pruning regime and you can see all the

new growth that's starting to come out now in the spring. So this is an example

of coppicing in the garden that we do is this is another Cotinus, it's Cotinus coggygria

‘Royal Purple’ with the purple foliage to it so this hasn't been cut

back in the wintertime but typically what we'll do is we'll cut it back to

the ground every year and this is last year's new growth so Carla's letting

this reshoot up so you have more of the architecture in the height but you can

cut it completely to the ground but what you can see is that the base it starts to

get sort of that knobbly base from cutting it back every year and you can

already see the new growth is starting to arise from there typically again like

pollarding when you start to see the new growth coming up you kind of want to be

a little selective about it selectively pruning out some of those shoots I would

estimate personally about 25% of those out because you

nice architecture shoots coming out you don't want it to get a little too

crowded. Another tree that we have in the garden this is Catalpa bignonioides 'Aurea"

a bit of a tongue twister and 'Aurea" is the cultivar is known for

that chartreuse bright chartreuse foliage so down by the ponds Joe will

coppice this it's really combination of coppicing and pollarding because he'll

cut it at the base a few at the base and he'll cut you can see some of the cuts

here pollarding to get it to reflash every year. So one of the benefits to doing

that both in keeping these plants in scale but by coppicing or pollarding

these Catalpas it actually spurs the leaves to to grow a little bit bigger

they're in more of like a juvenile state the leaves get bigger the leaves get

brighter and so you have that effect of that bright golden foliage even more

over emphasized in the garden in contrast all the other plantings in the

garden. So in the vegetable garden here we are repurposing willow and cotinus

to create these waddles that make these raised beds in the garden it's a nice

way of repurposing that material because they're long shoots that emerge as a

result of pollarding and coppicing. So all this is is I just took the thicker

branches the bases of those pounded them into the ground on one foot increments

and then it's just a very simple basket weave just in and out in and out the

whole way you can use these for hurdles you can use them for raised beds which is

kind of like what I'm doing here or they can just be nice partitions

between beds and walking space but it's a fun way to repurpose a material that

you have in the garden that you're generating in

winter pruning and can kind of persist into the garden

so because of pollarding and coppicing it's usually one to two years worth of

growth it's not very strong so these will only last about one to two years in

the garden which is perfectly fine because I coppice this every year so I

always get fresh material so think about that that's another aspect of pollarding

and coppicing that can make it kind of fun and a little bit more dynamic in

your own garden