Sprout Lands: Tending the Endless Gift of Trees
Review by Michelle Sutton, NYSUFC Editor
“Coppice and pollard … we should know these words again, for by means of them, people built their world out of wood for ten thousand years.” —William Bryant Logan
Every spring, I coppice my trio of purple smokebushes (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’) because I value the deep purple foliage more than the ethereal flowers. I coppiced lots of different kinds of shrubs for clients over the years, always with ornamental aims in mind. However, I’ve never pollarded a tree and it had struck me as a strange horticultural folly or quirk, but that was my own ignorance showing—ignorance of the fact that pollarding and coppicing have been used since the last ice age to generate woody sprouts for a stunning array of human uses.