Definition of pollard in US English:



[with object]often as adjective pollarded
  • Cut off the top and branches of (a tree) to encourage new growth at the top.

    ‘a wide boulevard lined with pollarded linden trees’
    • ‘The pollarded plane trees are probably gone now, and the friendly old silver-painted street lamps have likely been replaced by concrete pillars topped with a safe sodium glare, but I reckon I could pick out the spot.’
    • ‘The trees on the line near Mrs Connolly's property were not removed, but were pollarded as they are less invasive and cause fewer problems than sycamore.’
    • ‘Outside, the plane trees along the street have the same sameness about them, pollarded in a way I used to think cruel.’
    • ‘You won't miss the blaze of pollarded orange willows.’
    • ‘There are reports of the tree being pollarded in 1908, 1955, 1962, 1963/4, 1968, 1970 and 1991.’
    • ‘The pollarded tree had been dead for some years but the huge trunk was left standing as a home to wildlife, said Mr Bradbury.’
    • ‘Lime grows quickly, is handsome looking, and can be readily clipped or pollarded.’
    • ‘When they are more mature, the trees will be pollarded (the main branches are trimmed back to the trunk) regularly to keep them shapely and compact.’
    • ‘There are other poplars elsewhere on the Heslington-based course, while the boundary edge to the first hole will now be marked by a hornbeam hedge which was planted when the poplars were first pollarded.’
    • ‘Ahead of me a row of pollarded willows lines the bank of the stream, beyond which the ground slopes gently upwards towards leafless woodland, appearing sombre grey.’
    • ‘The trees have been pollarded where possible and will be managed as such for wildlife.’
    • ‘The Catholic Church is naturally attractive with its striking position at the edge of village, mature limes along one wall and pollarded Horse Chestnuts at the gate.’
    • ‘However, district councillor Bob White believes that the tree should be pollarded, reduced in height and given a second chance.’
    • ‘A river from the fading distance, which is one mist of collapsed aqueducts and castles, wanders between poplars and pollarded willows.’
    • ‘Many of these pollarded trees still remain in our streets and shopping centres, though they are gradually being replaced with smaller species.’
    • ‘Trees with unsafe limbs can be pruned or pollarded at the correct time of year to extend their life and keep their benefit for humankind.’
    • ‘They found that unauthorised work had been carried out on two Ash trees, which had been reduced to stumps, a Sycamore and another Ash, which had been pollarded to a height of 4.5 metres.’
    • ‘Rows of pollarded trees (relics from the car park) structure and animate the landscape.’
    • ‘Sadly this lawned area with its avenue of pollarded lime trees is split in half by the main Swindon-Salisbury road.’
    • ‘They were pollarded to give shelter to neighbouring lands.’
    trim, cut, cut short, cut shorter, snip, prune, shorten, crop, shear, shave, pare
    View synonyms


  • 1A tree whose top and branches have been cut off for this reason.

    • ‘Hoopoes breed across most of Europe, except Scandinavia, favouring open country and clumps of old trees including pollard willows, meadows orchards and olive plantations.’
    • ‘Continue along the path with the river and lines of oak pollards on your left, and the grazed meadow, which is rich with wild herbs in the summer, on your right.’
    • ‘Its interest is that within it survive all the elements of a medieval forest: great timber trees, coppice woods, pollards, scrub, grassland and fen, deer and cattle, and a rabbit warren.’
  • 2archaic An animal, e.g., a sheep or deer, that has lost its horns or cast its antlers.

    • ‘In some cases such pollards have small horny growths in the skin where their horns would be.’


Early 17th century: from the verb poll + -ard.