[NAFEX] Pollarding a mulberry and tree decapitation

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Tue Jun 2 21:46:24 EDT 2009

I think the idea of pollarding a mulberry is brilliant.  I bet it would
work, although it might really encourage scale because the growth would be
so tender.  On the other hand, nothing could over winter on the branches!

I also don't mind decapitating trees, with all due respect to Alex Shigo.  I
wouldn't do it to an oak, unless the only alternative was cutting it down
but I believe that trees generally recover from this treatment.  I have
observed hundreds of decapitated trees that suffered very crude pruning via
an extremely early snow and twenty years later most are doing fine.

Alex Shigo started this passionate movement against tree decapitation and
spoke of the weak connection of branches (codominant leaders) as a result of
this treatment.  This problem can easily be rectified by coming back and
retraining a tree to a central leader- whether it's an apple or a maple.  He
did most of his research work on maples, which may not be the strongest
compartmentalizers (tree wound healing, coined and researched by Shigo) in
the tree world.   He also spoke of the danger of such large wounds being the
source of fatal infection.  I'm waiting for all those decapitated trees to
succumb in support of Alex.  Many of them are maples.
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