Rien ne vaut la taille de mars !
The saying here is 'Prune early, prune late: nothing beats pruning in March'. Strictly speaking it refers to the all important vines, but home gardeners will quote it at every opportunity at this time of year.
Tree pruning in particular is in full swing in Preuilly and the other day I spotted the father of one of our neighbour's up a ladder with loppers and a hatchet. And yes, he is climbing a tree whilst wearing rubber boots!
This particular tree is a Common Lime (Linden) Tilia x europaea. It is pruned like this every two years, keeping it just the right size to provide shade over the small terrace it stands next to. Non-Europeans are usually horrified at this type of highly interventionist style of gardening. They don't like to see nature so rigidly controlled and find the pollarded branches ugly.
and saved for next year's kindling.
If you are interested, I wrote more extensively on the practice of pollarding trees a couple of years ago here.