Willow as fuel?

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Tom Good
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Willow as fuel?

Post: #123164 QuizMaster
Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:01 pm

I have some willow, I think it's mostly Salix alba and a few other types, acting as a windbreak.
I'm wondering if I propagate it enough, will it be any good as firewood? How much would I need for one year's fuel? How long would I have to wait?
I suppose I'd space them further apart than the windbreak I have at the moment, to let them get bigger?

Thanks,
Q

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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #123191 farmerdrea
Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:05 pm

Willows aren't a very dense wood, so don't make the best firewood, but as it's wood you could still probably coppice and burn it. Here's some info I found on the Salix alba:

http://www.cannonvalleynursery.com/outp ... x_alba.asp

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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #127926 JayBee
Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:04 pm

On a previous plot of land I had golden, osier and grey willow.

I propagated the willow as per this web page http://the-goodlife.blogspot.com/search/label/willow

My golden and osier willow would put on 6 feet a year. An acre would heat a house easily.
James

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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #128325 tim2
Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:22 pm

We've been burning willow (weeping and white?) for a few years nfrom our garden. I pollard 5 large trees and that just about keeps us going for the winter.

Yes you need more of it than the equivalent hard wood, but found it easier to burn (in a Stove), it lights easily and keeps burning.

Cheers,

Tim.

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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #128346 richyboy
Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:10 am

Sorry to hi-jack the thread, but I am considering planting some willow to coppice. I have heard though, that ash might be a better wood to use as it is excellent firewood - green, or seasoned - and is more useful as a working wood as well.

Anyone got any suggestions?
Growing our own & foraging in our own little Eden.

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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #128353 JayBee
Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:42 am

richyboy wrote:Sorry to hi-jack the thread, but I am considering planting some willow to coppice. I have heard though, that ash might be a better wood to use as it is excellent firewood - green, or seasoned - and is more useful as a working wood as well.

Anyone got any suggestions?


The denser the wood, the longer it takes to grow.

Although you can burn ash when green most of the heat you generate is boiling off the water from the wood and not heating your home.

For a small plot of land I would go with a fast growing willow hybrid. Then with an efficient stove you will be self-sufficient in heat.

Plant ash and you will be buying wood and coal for many years between coppicing your ash.
James

editor, ecopunk - http://www.ecopunk.org.uk & wood gas - http://www.woodgas.org.uk

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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #130182 Smooth Hound
Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:42 pm

i grow willow for the rods for live willow fencing and eventually sculptures, i will be burning it as of next yr, i have burnt it before though , it does burn quite fast , but then it grows fast as well. this winter i am going to experiment with a new idea, i will be mixing 1 shovel of cement with half a cwt of dross , then put it into old marg type tubs, mixed with 4 inch pieces of willow , then use them in my stove, i cant say its going to be a success , but i reckon its worth a try.
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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #130890 JakeR
Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:47 pm

Willow can be used as fuel if your committed to it. With coppicing, the small branches to be dried and chipped and burned like you would wood pellets.

I read somewhere (sorry I forget where) that coppicing can sustainabley produce 8 tons of material per acre per year vs 11/2-2 ton for hardwood.

Richyboy - ash is more energy dense than willow, but please don't burn any wood green. As JayBee said you lose a lot of heat evaporating the water. Of more concern, burning green wood is likely to lead to more creosote in your chimney creating a potential fire hazard.

Jake

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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #138052 mpr
Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:16 pm

do you need to season willow or can it be burned soon after cutting?

John Headstrong

Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #138057 John Headstrong
Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:45 pm

All wood burns better after being seasoned, the longer the better.
It is one of them things you have to really plan well, and set aside a space/ sheter to store it for a few years.

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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #138422 lsm1066
Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:18 pm

Sorry to hijack the thread again, but how about Laburnum? I had 8 of them in the orchard, basically blocking the light, looking pretty and dropping loads of pods on the ground. I now have a nice clear space to plant some more fruit trees and soft fruits in their place. But can Laburnum be burnt effectively?

Lynne

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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #138426 Odsox
Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:32 pm

All wood can be burnt as a fuel, but it's best to steer away from resinous softwoods like fir and pine in a woodburner.
Laburnum should be just fine and as it's free will make it even more satisfying to burn.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #140932 fruitcake
Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:43 pm

V interested to read this thread. I spent last weekend planing some willow rods, specifically with harvesting for firewood in mind. Can't remember which variety - starts with M. We have a willow farm at the bottom of the road and they recommended it - their advice is to harvest a 1/4 each year as it will take 4 yrs for it to grow to sufficient diameter (we haven't got a stove in yet so I'm trying to be a bit organised lol).

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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #147161 Odsox
Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:19 pm

I planted a forest today ... well a small coppice anyway.

I got 70 willow cuttings of 4 different varieties of hybrid biomass types and put them in this afternoon on a piece of ground that is surplus to requirements.
As I understand it they have to be cut back to ground level next winter to make them sprout more stems, in that case I will have a load more cuttings for free. I have room on that plot for 5 rows of 45 so hopefully by this time next year it will be all planted up and in 5 years time I should theoretically be nearly self sufficient in fire wood. :cheers:
Tony

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Re: Willow as fuel?

Post: #147165 JayBee
Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:40 pm

Well done Tony, I hope you get plenty of firewood.

Are you any where near Cool Mountain in West Cork?

Anything to say about the area?


Odsox wrote:I planted a forest today ... well a small coppice anyway.

I got 70 willow cuttings of 4 different varieties of hybrid biomass types and put them in this afternoon on a piece of ground that is surplus to requirements.
As I understand it they have to be cut back to ground level next winter to make them sprout more stems, in that case I will have a load more cuttings for free. I have room on that plot for 5 rows of 45 so hopefully by this time next year it will be all planted up and in 5 years time I should theoretically be nearly self sufficient in fire wood. :cheers:
James

editor, ecopunk - http://www.ecopunk.org.uk & wood gas - http://www.woodgas.org.uk


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