tree to coppice in dry area

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safronsue
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tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249198 safronsue
Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:34 pm

Hi, just posted in the about me board but hello again from Greece...which is where i want to find a tree to coppice for firewood. Does all willow need a lot of water? The land that i have in mind will be dry for most of the summer and i don't want to irrigate. what do people grow to coppice for firewood in areas with restricted water or is a slower growing tree necessary?

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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249207 Davie Crockett
Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:23 pm

Efficient "planting for energy" known as short rotation coppicing/pollarding is done on a 2-5 year cycle as this is the time scale required to grow anything usable. (Willow and Poplar)

Alternatively Short rotation Forestry uses Alder, Ash, Birch, Eucalyptus, Poplar, and Sycamore on an 8-20 year cycle/plan.

What species of tree are most abundant in your area? it's probably best to stick to a native species.

If you do decide to try willow, beware the root damage they can cause to drains, they can send roots to seek out moisture, often a lot further than the relative height of the tree.

Biomass for energy involves planting mainly willow or poplar in the UK. I'm not sure dry conditions would suit either.

Here's a helpful link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_forestry
Your project sounds interesting :icon_smile: keep us posted!
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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249209 safronsue
Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:16 pm

that's what my o/h says too about the drain damage. the site is not far from the house tbh so it's a fair point. we have lime trees in these parts which do send up shoots readily but i don't think they grow fast and 8 years sounds a long time.

i do like your signature !

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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249222 Davie Crockett
Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:43 am

Lol, Thanks!

Lime trees will pollard more effectively than if you coppice. You'll still be stuck with an 8 year cycle, but you'll double the life span of the trees.
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Millymollymandy
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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249228 Millymollymandy
Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:43 am

Hazel will cope much better than willow in dry situations and is a traditionally coppiced tree. I don't know the burning qualities of either wood though.
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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249232 The Riff-Raff Element
Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:27 am

Acacia. Some, particularly Acacia fumosa, have been used for fire wood in drier parts of Africa for centuries, so I would have thought acacia would be a good palce to start. I think they'd coppice: I cut a few down in the course of the years and they shoot back very enthusistically.

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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249237 Davie Crockett
Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:57 am

Just had a thought...did you mean Limes as in Linden (Tilia) or Limes as in citrus variety?
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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249251 demi
Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:50 pm

my husband says they use oak for fire wood in macedonia so its probably the same in greece.

we've got a weeping willow tree in the garden and we never water it and its dry here all summer.
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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249256 Millymollymandy
Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:43 pm

Whereas all my willows (not weeping) which are on the dry rocky side of my pond go yellow and lose their leaves! They are the first trees to suffer along with silver birch, but it may be lack of depth of soil. Then again our soil is shallow everywhere as granite is very close to the surface in the garden, sometimes just 6 inches under, but the oaks don't seem to have a problem. In fact they are a tree that never seems to suffer in the worst drought.

We have a lot of sycamores some of which we chop/hack off branches in a sort of pollarding way and they do grow back pretty quickly - I'd say a 3-4 year cycle for them. But we are not talking about a lot of firewood here - you'd need hectares of land to grow enough firewood for a winter if it was just from coppiced/pollarded wood rather than taking out entire trees. Then again that's a northern European winter not a mild-ish Greek one! :iconbiggrin:
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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249262 demi
Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:57 pm

yeah you need a whole forest to sustainably produce enough wood for the whole year.

we buy in logs, split them ourself and use prunings from the orchard as kindeling. plus we replaced our roof on our house and we've been burning the old beams for 2 winters now. you should scavange as much wood as you can find if your keen on keeping your fule costs down.
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'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249264 safronsue
Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:09 pm

Tilia as in Linden Cordata, not the citrus one. Hazels we have and they do coppice but are slow growing. i took loads of cuttings today as a matter of fact. i do like them but they are not the firewood answer.
Yes, we do burn oak. everyone here is burning oak and buying burners as the diesel is unaffordable. wood is being imported from bulgaria and illegal logging is going on in the country so i would love to make some inroads to compensate if only on a personal level.

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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249265 contadina
Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:17 pm

I'm in Italy and all our firewood comes from our olive and almond prunings.

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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249323 safronsue
Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:31 am

that's interesting contadina. Is it prunings or are you coppicing with a view to growing decent diameter logs? what's the sort of time scale you are on til you can cut again? I've just looked up Puglia on the map and it's only about 3 - 400 km from us. but we are 800m above sea level so more extreme weather than you i would imagine. but, almonds everywhere! olives not up to much.

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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249325 contadina
Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:58 am

Just prunings, which you need to do each year to get a decent crop of fruit and/or nuts. We have a lot of really big secular olive trees which need to be pruned hard every four-six years, but still get a fair bit of wood from just cleaning up the smaller olive and almond trees each year (just take off any dead wood, vertical branches and anything too high for harvesting). The trees really benefit from a decent prune each year too.

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Re: tree to coppice in dry area

Post: #249327 The Riff-Raff Element
Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:02 am

Contadina - at what time of year do you prune your olives? I have a young-ish tree I'd like to start shaping up. Thanks.


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