Pollarding is a method of pruning that keeps trees and shrubs smaller than they would naturally grow. It is normally started once a tree or shrub reaches a certain height, and annual pollarding will restrict the plant to that height.

Save to My scrapbook
Pollarding an elderberry to keep it small and produce good-colour foliage.

Quick facts

Suitable for: Most on London plane and common lime
Timing: Late winter (except acers)
Difficulty: Moderate (but usually requires a professional because of working at heights and with chainsaws)

Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9

Join now

Gardeners' calendar

Find out what to do this month with our gardeners' calendar

Advice from the RHS

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.