January's RHS journal contained a very interesting article on pollarding and coppicing non-native trees which was read with particular interest. Followers of this blog may know the page entitled Rabbits Outfoxed which tells of our Tulip Tree and how it defeated death-by-rabbits 5 years ago. The trouble is now, it is in danger of over shadowing too many of its neighbours. Whilst one has a reasonable idea as to which of our native trees lend themselves to these practices, non-natives were rather an unknown quantity prior to the RHS article.
Well, according to the article, Liriodendrons particularly, lend themselves to pollarding very well indeed. Ours certainly responded well to being coppiced by rabbits so we decided to take the plunge and pollard our own Liriodendron Tuilipifera in order to contain its size. Chris only agreed to be so radical if he was allowed to leave some twiggy growth at the top of each leader to draw up the sap. We went for the traditional browsing height of animals and reduced it's height by about 2/3rds down to about 10 feet. Hopefully the leaders will acquire lovely gnarly knuckles from which leafy new growth will shoot in spring. If not - blame it on the RHS! Actually, the pruning does emphasise its wine glass shape and softens an other wise severe haircut!
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