Yesterday I posted a question about this tree that I had photographed in Whanganui earlier this week.
Many blog readers have confirmed that this is a pollarded Plane tree that I posted about yesterday.
Hmmm what does pollarding mean I wondered. One definition is: “Pollarding trees” means cutting them back nearly to the trunk, so as to produce a dense mass of branches. It is sometimes done today for aesthetic purposes and/or to keep a beloved tree from outgrowing its bounds, necessitating removal. But traditionally, it was done for other reasons: the cut branches were either fed to livestock (fodder), burned as fuel or used to make things.
Pollarding begins on young trees, and the process is repeated throughout the life of the tree. Only certain types of trees are suited to pollarding.
One of my Facebook friends who lives in Kent, England offered this additional information: The plane tree is unique in that it collects all the dirt in the air in it’s bark, particularly in areas where there is a lot of traffic, and then the bark flakes off. They are used to keep the air clean in urban areas.
Thanks Amanda. That might be why so many are planted along streets, both very busy and quiet suburban streets, here in New Zealand.
Aren’t trees wonderful! As you walk past a Plane tree on the edge of a street, breath deeply and give thanks to the tree for cleansing the air for you.