As far as we know tree pollarding started in the middle Ages in Europe in order to produce kindling for fire places and fodder for livestock. Nowadays we pollard to manage the size of a tree that is too large for its space and/or to create a formal look in the landscape.
In the UK today tree pollarding is generally not used in conjunction with modern practices. It should not be carried out unless a tree has previously been pollarded as large wounds created during the process can initiate fatal decay in mature trees.
The problem with it is that trees with weaker wood are prone to producing multiple shoots that can become hazardous. Some of the weakly-attached branches can break off and fall to the ground. A similar problem can occur with trees with more hardy species such as beech, oak and sweet chestnut. Their branches become heavy when it lapses for several decades, and these may break away in windy weather.
It is commonly requested by those not understanding its severe nature; often a crown reduction would be more suitable. Therefore, please always seek advice.
If you have any questions about this or anything else please contact us. We will be more than happy to help.