This willow tree was pruned, and cut back to stump. I believe that whoever was cutting the tree didn't know what he was doing.

Today we returned home and were hugely shocked. The willow tree was somewhere above 3.5 meters (not sure exactly, maybe 4-6 meters) tall. It's on council land. The neighbours said it will take 5 years to regrow. The same thing happened 5 years ago. The thick branches were cut, not only the fine ones or the ones which could cause danger. The tree was starting already to sprout.

I think there is a lot of damage to the tree. In addition the birds have been living in a small hollow of the tree. Tree looks like a stump right now.

The council didn't even inform us that they are looking to do such a thing. Two years ago when we bought the house, the little branches had been going over the electric wires. They came and cut the unnecessary branches but that was it. Everybody has been happy.

Is this bad for the tree? How can I keep this from happening again?

click any photo for full size

Here is the tree I am talking about. In the first picture, you can see the hole where the birds used to live. Very upsetting. Yes, I do agree tree is not ours. At least informing people what is meant to happen would be nice. Because is very close to the house, the aesthetic look is terrible now, and they disturbed the habitat.

Also do you think the very top and the front branch was cut well?

  • 2
    If it's on council land, it's not your tree, even if it's near your house.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 24, 2015 at 2:19
  • When you say council, is that equivalent to a HOA (homeowners association)?
    – Danger14
    Apr 2, 2015 at 7:41

3 Answers 3


If it's on council land, there's not much you can do. Your tree has been pollarded. Because it's a willow tree, it should recover well. These trees take this pruning well, and it's actually a common (albeit rather unattractive) size management system in many areas.

  • But since we moved , 2 years now, they did't even touch it, why not to prune less to have estetic look too. Why to cut almost 5 years regrown in one year. Jt would be better doing ot regular. Is it pollarding more inportant than fresh air? They can get these from forest, full of unused wood .
    – Lina
    Mar 24, 2015 at 16:43
  • @Lina That was a messy job, for sure. It's normal (because it's cheap) for a council to wait longer and cut harder than is ideal. But really, it should grow back. You really can't make them do it differently.
    – J. Musser
    Mar 24, 2015 at 16:51
  • You could try to influence them, but that's purely political - run for the council, win, and make your voice heard - or at least show up to council meetings on a regular basis as a concerned citizen.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 24, 2015 at 18:30
  • I do appreciate for all the responses. It is very important for me, I came back today and nearly tears have been coming out.I will try to find photo and will post you how it looked before.Perhaps yes , i should attend few meeting than I can. I did informed , made a complain about it, and I will here from them shortly. I would like to know, is there such person as a tree officer ? Just have been reading about it. I better do my best , to prevent this from happening again without my knowledge.thanks a lot!! thanks Niall C. For sorting out my photos, I am not used to this site.
    – Lina
    Mar 24, 2015 at 19:51
  • I was advised by someone from hedgelink that it should have been cut before 1 of March or in winter, as after this is too late to do so.
    – Lina
    Mar 24, 2015 at 20:01

We, own a willow. Every 2 years we pollard it back in winter when it is sleeping. A month or two it shows signs of sprouting again. By late February, beginning of March it's sprouting with leaves. Providing it is regularly attended to and looked after it will bounce back wonderfully. P. S. Don't forget to water well in summer if not near stream as the roots will seek out such things as drains for water. Our willow is 20odd years old.


Willows are naturally found near water. Water has flooding, freezing over and icing up on banks and other destructive events. Plants that do well in this zone need to adapt to getting sheered at the base. Willows do this in multiple ways. They re-sprout readily to make up for no stems. All the removed stems are now able to get lodged somewhere else and root.

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