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Poplar and willow trees need regular maintenance if they are to provide long term protection to the land without becoming a nuisance. Pruning and appropriate management will lead to a beautiful and stable site with healthy, safe trees and a great grazing environment.
Ground stump grinder financial return from the timber when the trees are mature can provide an added incentive. Managing Poplars & Willows: High-Pruning Poplars.
By Poplar & Willow Research Trust, March Maintenance of your poplars is necessary to ensure tree health and form and to reduce the risk of trees becoming unmanageable in future years. Form-pruning to a single dominant leader is recommended from years one to three (growth dependent) to improve the final tree form. Around year five, prune the lower 2 whorls of branches. Pruning This is best done in summer (January-March), less regrowth will occur if pruning is done at this time, plus the wounds dry off and heal over at this time of year.
Bear in mind that if left longer than two or three weeks in water, poles will begin to develop roots that will be lost in planting.
If timber is a consideration regular summer pruning should be carried out at least every second year before the branches get too big.
When pruning, leave as small.