Garden: Trimming Catalpa Trees

Our house came with lots of peculiar things.  One such item was the trees lining our street:

Trimming Catalpas: catalpas in bloom

Although the trees held some appeal over the summer, we moved in last winter when they looked like this:

Trimming Catalpas: catalpas before trimming

Turns out, these trees are called catalpas, and although we have some very tall ones in our backyard, these three trees lining the street were coppiced or pollarded- something that pretty much means topping off trees to make them mimic more of a bush.  Apparently, the act of cutting back catalpa trees is fairly common as it keeps the trees small and encourages the leaves to grow extra large.

Unfortunately for us, our trees had been coppiced (or pollarded) many years ago but it also sounds like this type of severe trimming needs to be done on a semi-regular basis- something that hadn’t been done to our trees in many, many years.

So after talking to a few tree trimming services and seeing some neighbors with these same pollarded trees, I decided something needed to be done and took matters into my own hands; or, more specifically, I took matters into my own hands that just so happened to be wielding a chainsaw:

Trimming Catalpas: catalpas after trimming

Looks like I created an even bigger eyesore!!!  But, supposedly, these trees thrive with this kind of cutting and hopefully (fingers crossed) will come in beautifully next year.   Of course, despite all my research, I have no idea what I’m doing.  If it doesn’t work out then I guess we will be shopping for some new trees! (gulp)