Monday, 9 March 2009

La Ville de Sarlat



Sarlat is regarded as the jewel in the crown of the Perigord. I'm lucky in that it's my nearest good sized town and that I get to visit it often. I popped there this morning to do a bit of shopping and was taken aback at the care and attention paid to pruning the literally hundreds of trees.



I know it as pollarding, you may know it under a different name. Either way, the result is impressive .



Some are very old and have beautiful bark. I think they're London Plane correct me if I'm wrong.



This is the little car park where I parked up this morning, opposite a hotel and beside another line of well pruned trees.



Even the trees that line the side streets have been neatly clipped.



Everything will look so different in a couple of months, not that they look bad now.

27 comments:

  1. I will admit that those are most likely the best example that I have ever seen of pollarded? trees.

    But I hate it, around here they butcher the poor things, it is cruel, if the tree is going to be too big for the space, then don't plant it!

    The old guys in the condo's love to get out there with the hack saws and chop to their heart's content.

    We lucky neighbours get to look out at that all winter.

    Sorry that did sound like a kind of ranting did it not. I am just frustrated by all the hacking jobs that pretend to be spring pruning. We call them "men with trucks" out here, not gardeners.

    Jen

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  2. Around the Southeastern US, there are lots of people who maintain they are going to "pollard" the Crape Myrtles, when in fact that means chopping them off with a chainsaw each spring. Ultimately it kills the tree since it encourages disease, but those who are devoted to the practice are hard to convince.

    I have heard about the practice in France and can understand why people say how beautiful the trees can be. I'm hoping to visit Paris and Southern France in spring 2010, so look forward to seeing the properly pruned trees in person.

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  3. Looks like a lovely house Rob. We have pollarding here but I don't personally like it much as it distorts the natural form of the trees and I don't find it attractive.

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  4. Interesting, you rarely see that here.

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  5. The trees all look like soldiers. They sure must spend a lot of time and money to keep the trees so nicely pruned and clipped.
    They do that to the trees in the Central Valley in California where my in-laws live. I'd never seen anything like it before.

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  6. Hi Rob, here in Melbourne we have many many pollarded trees. Many of them are Plane trees and often fruit trees are pollarded. Sometimes they are pollarded into a v shape to make room for power lines. Melbourne is famous too for its Elms which often get this treatment too. Its an interesting practice but people are moving away from it more lately. Especially with the drought and more trees being in distress.

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  7. This is a fabulous blog entry. IT was fun stepping into another part of the world this morning via your blog! THANK YOU!!!

    I left a comment back to you on my blog about the Oakleaf Hydrangeas. You can find more information in a later blog entry of mine about this wonderful bloomer. http://momingarden.blogspot.com/2008/08/oakleaf-hydrangea.html

    I am sorry to say that this bush would thrive in full / mostly sunny area of your garden. I don't think it would do well in the shade area you mentioned.

    Happy Gardening Dear Friend. It is wonderful 'following' your garden journeys.

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  8. Wow - I've never seen such beautifully pollarded trees. They're almost works of art!

    We have some pollarded trees in our garden - as organised by the previous owners. Many of the trees have protection orders on them, so any work has to be kept to the minimum. Our pollarded trees have never looked as good as this!

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  9. PS, no I haven't shifted any more humungous rocks recently .....but I've still got plenty to go at when it dries up a bit!

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  10. Those are very interesting pictures. I think it's a great idea to pollard london plane trees, as they get the worst rating on the allergy scale and pollarding certainly reduces the pollen they release. I'm not sure if I like the look. They're probably better when leafed-out, though.

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  11. It may not be to everyones taste but I have to say that walking around town I was taken with the expertise applied to pruning the trees. It just looked completely right in an old urban setting. Yes the trees did stand like sentinels but I liked that. Come summer they'll provide cool leafy shade in the market square and along the streets.

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  12. Those trees are really 'France' to me...
    A sunny afternoon, looking at jeu de boules under 'les platanes'... Voici la douce France...
    Oh, that makes me long for a summer holiday a few hundreds of kilometers further south....

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  13. It looks a job well done Rob and I imagine that the trees will look great this year.

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  14. I have always loved the way the French pollard their trees in town. I've often seen this in market squares in the south, where the lush new growth gives good shade in the highest summer heats. I think they even graft them together, sometimes, to form a air-born trellis. Lovely blog post, off to Paris myself next week, hurray!

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  15. I've seen the pollarding in France, but didn't know the term that is used there. More informed, thanks! :-)

    Sarlat looks so beautiful, you are fortunate to live so close to a great village.

    Cameron

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  16. Amazing! Those trees look like they are from some different world!
    I enjoyed this post very much! Thank you, Rob!

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  17. I loved visiting Sarlat and that enitre region. Would love to return one day! My area - including the city of San Francisco - is replete with pollarded trees just like the ones pictured...young and old. Quite a site.

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  18. Beautiful shots, Rob, and thank you for sharing ... always a bit of a mystery, you have sent informative examples and fine photos. Now, if only you could project me there in person to see for myself :)

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  19. Lovely, lovely photos, Rob-depicting so well the trees in their 'pollarded' (!!sp?!!) state! They do look very stately. It's an interesting practice;from the comments, obviously there are some varied opinions on the subject! The rest of the subject matter in your photos is of great interest to me, as well. We visited Paris while living in Germany between 1985 and 1990. It was a visit worth remembering-very enjoyable.

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  20. Wow, that is so beautiful. I don't think I have seen trees like that before. They are quite impressive. You are lucky to live so close and get to enjoy them year round. I really enjoyed stopping by your blog.
    Debbie

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  21. I have never seen trees pruned like that before! Very interesting. Nevertheless, I hope the local utility company doesn't learn of the word "pollard" and justify their severe tree-pruning near the power lines by calling it that!

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  22. I like pollarding depending on the circumstances. In a large scale public space like your example pollarding creates an effect that is both striking and practical. There is a similar example on the campus of Stanford University in Northern Cal and elsewhere, but I believe many associate this practice with Europe.

    London plane trees are very disease suspectible and frankly not all that exciting other than their lovely bark, so I don't mind seeing them pollarded. To Tina and others' points, there are a lot of people still who think certain trees have to be maintained this way and don't even consider more appropriate alternatives. For the average home garden, seeing their tortured look in the winter makes me wonder why the homeowner didn't just choose a smaller tree in the first place?

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  23. Wow! Those trees are awesome! Very artistic, all of them. I've learned a new term today - pollarding.

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  24. Rob - Anna (Green Tapestry) pointed me in the direction of your post because I'm doing a series of posts on public planting. I've just been talking about pollarded trees in Belgium.

    My public planting posts includes an 'Out on the streets' quaterly meme where I'm inviting bloggers to talk about public planting in their neighbourhood. I hope you don't mind if I link to this post?

    It's good to discover your blog - thanks to Anna :)

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  25. Thanks to Kristin at "My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia" my first ever link party for Cottage Flora Thursday's is up & running! Inviting you to come over & link a cottage garden post you may have & please advertise "Cottage Flora Thursday's" on your post that you link!! & don't forget to become a follower of my blog !!!

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  26. My sister and I call this "doing a Frenchie on the trees.". It's oddly popular in San Francisco, and I think it looks like torture. If the objective is to use the cut branches for basketry or something useful, that's fine. But I think most of the cutting is for the sake of cutting.

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  27. I have never seen trees like these before. How well that pruning job is done...
    I am impressed. Great pictures.
    Thanks for posting this!

    best regards
    Eva
    evigglade.blogspot.com

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