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Oak harvest: the traditional European way  RSS feed

 
Ella Irati
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I recently learned that when wood became scarce, in certain parts of Basque Country and Spain they began to harvest tree branches. The harvested trees are  called "trasmochos" . The large branches are harvested (cut) every 10 years or so and these oaks get to live much longer than the "wild" ones. I just think its interesting.
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Glenn Herbert
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In English, the method is called "pollarding". It is widely practiced in Europe and some parts of India that I have heard of, and likely more.

It is similar to coppicing, but leaves a visible tree trunk with the new growth several feet, or sometimes many feet, above ground and away from nibbling livestock. It would prevent urban trees from spreading too much and crowding the close-set buildings in old cities.
 
Ella Irati
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Ah| Good to know.  Pollarding, uh? They also had a way to cut the oaks at earth level but they found out it gave less wood overtime this way. They cut some branches to make them grow with a curve to make boats. I think it is a wonderful compromise between getting wood and keeping trees. I realize now that the forests I saw as a little girl where managed forests and that the natural shape of oaks is different. This is a 500 year old oak that was pollarded.
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Hester Winterbourne
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Some species respond better to this form of management than others.  However, with some trees it can also cause instability as the regrowth gets past a certain diameter it gets too heavy and can fall away and split the trunk. 
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