Pollarding is the beheading of a maiden tree by removing the main stem and then re-pollarding by cutting regularly back to the same point. Pollarding is a traditional management system used to control the growth of a tree throughout its life. If this method is applied to older mature trees then it can be described as topping and can seriously damage or even kill a tree.

If a pollarded tree has fallen out of regular management then re-pollarding should not be specified. In such cases restoration pruning could be considered either to train the branches to form a normal crown or re-establish a pollard management regime by staged reduction work.