A Pollard lot.
These trees reach 20-30 feet (6-9 meters) above the stool (tree trunk).
I drove by this lot today and had to take some photos. I have not seen such a perfect example of Pollarding before; all the components were there to see all at once. I got a few odd glances from the Azorean locals as they drove past. I am sure they were wondering what this American was doing taking photos, but I didn't mind at all.
Pollarding is a type of coppicing. I have written about coppicing in one of my previous articles, and I would recommend reading that article for a more in depth explanation.
A recently harvested Pollard.
In brief, Pollarding is a pruning technique where one cuts off most of the branches from a tree at, or above, head level. The branches can be used for any number of purposes: posts, poles, fencing, tools, crafts, building, firewood, charcoal, etc. Within a number of years, the branches will grow back out of the pollard, and the process can be repeated. Only certain species of tree can be Pollarded (or Coppiced, for that matter), and each species varies in how often it can be harvested.
I do not know the purpose of this Pollard lot. It could be for firewood, but these branches are long and beautifully straight. I also do not know the species of tree. I asked a few people walking by, but my Portuguese is not so good. The best I could get was, "Oh, yeah, we all just call it a shade tree."
I will try to drive by this lot from time to time and hopefully catch someone on the property. I will try to find out the answers to my questions, and if I get them, I will share them on this page. Nevertheless, these were some great photos I had to share.
These poles, after being trimmed, are about 20 feet (6 meters) long
and 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) in diameter.
Great wood with a lot of potential!