In earlier times, when a family would live in the same general locale from generation to generation, woodland practices such as pleaching, laying hedges, coppicing, and pollarding were common practices. Each tradition was practiced, not with the intent of reaping the rewards within a year or two, but in some cases decades later.
In this video, Simon Smith reviews the basics of pleaching hazel. Though not inherently obvious from the video, pleaching is performed as a means to promote new growth in controlled lines. The common practice was part of hedge laying whereby the landowner would lay a series of pleached deciduous plants as a means of establishing field and country lane boundaries. Because this is an arduous and time consuming task, the art of pleaching and hedge laying has almost been lost with many a country lane all but gone back to the wild.