manage my willow coppice?

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manage my willow coppice?

Postby me-o-matic » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:51 pm

Hi all,

Are there any willow growers on here?

Last March I planted 500 willow setts on .25 acres. It is now all 6-9 foot high.

This Jan/Feb I will be planting another .25 acres.

I am a little unsure about what to do with the 1st .25 acres.

Some material I read says to cut it down close to the ground this winter. This will encourage 4-5 shoots per tree.

Some materials is saying to leave it alone so that I get less, but thicker, branches.

My original intention was to cut down after the 1st year, and I spaced my plants to cope with the extra branches.

Now I'm thinking that perhaps that would have been more useful for rods which would have been chipped.... whereas I really want logs/mini logs for a wood burner.

Anybody?
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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby diggernotdreamer » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:20 pm

How welcome to the ish forum. Try having a look at www.willowbank.com and look at their gyo firewood section. I bought loads of different sorts of willow from them, about 500 cuttings. Unfortunately, my alpacas have eaten most of it so I am having to start again in a different place.
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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby boboff » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:26 pm

Oh what a shame that link doesn't work.

This is exactly the issue I want resolving at the moment also.
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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby me-o-matic » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:27 pm

Hi, that link is not working.

I bought my initial 500 setts from Bow Hayes Trees.

I was going to cut them to the ground this winter, and use the cuttings to plant up my next 500 setts, but I have now decided that I should really have planted a mix of varieties.... so I am going to take cuttings from 150 and buy a variety mix of 350 from Mammoth Willow. I suppose I should buy 500 from them but I am trying to keep the cost down!
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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby diggernotdreamer » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:32 pm

Doh!! would help if I put in the right thing, this is the problem when luddites try and do stuff they can't http://www.thewillowbank.com, the gyo wood section is handy as they give you conversions of space to wood and how to cut it etc

The willow I bought was ok, the chinese stuff went alright, the best stuff was the viminalis I found down the bottom of our land which had been planted for baskets, cut off some withies and it went like the clappers, also bought 17 different colours off ebay for not much so if I ever learn to make baskets got lots of lovely colours to play with. (as long as the feckin alpacas don't find it)
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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby boboff » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:46 pm

Thank you Digger that was very useful to me.

I kind of had the right ideas as well which is great!

Bring it on!
Millymollymandy wrote:Bloody smilies, always being used. I hate them and they should be banned.
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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby Odsox » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:01 pm

I planted 50 willow cuttings 3 years ago and at the same time I planted a line of alders as a wind break to protect them.
Some of the willow trunks are about 2" in diameter and some smaller, but the alders have trunks 7" or 8" with sizeable branches. As alders coppice as well, I plan to plant up the rest of the designated area with them instead of more willow.
Tony

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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby GeorgeSalt » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:19 pm

A mixture of coppiced (willows, alder, hazel, chestnut) and other (birches - some species of birch can be coppiced, but why bother when they grow so fast?) species gives a more diverse and resiliant habitat and crop. It also gives the greatest variety of future uses down the line.

Imagine you'd planted an acre of ash trees five years ago.. that could be any native species at some point in the future.
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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby diggernotdreamer » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:38 pm

I agree that a mixture is the best option, especially as it seems that so many species of tree are being wiped out by disease. The ash problem has arrived in Ireland, won't be long getting around, you are stuffed in you have planted all one species. I am interested in growing poplar as well, did not realise you could grow it from cuttings, does anyone know how it burns? I like alder, it does grow very well here on our wet ground and once it has dried out burns very nicely with good heat.

There is no free anything to be had here, everyone has ranges, fires and stoves, you have to watch out as they swipe the bigger trees out of the hedgerows, one day a tree, next day a pile of sawdust and a stump, even freecycle doesn't work well here, no-one would ever give anything away, you have to be very watchful to see if the shop gets a pallet and then grab it as soon as you see it, won't be there next time you come past.

Glad the link worked this time Boboff, proper job
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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby oldjerry » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:44 pm

Agree with George,a mix is best,couple of months ago I'd have said ash,but who knows now? A decent coppice would ,as well as the above, have a bit of Field Maple (Acer Campestre) dogwood (Cornus) Geulder Rose (Viburnum Opulus) and praps a bit of Elder.That gives you(and the birds) a nice mix of wood to burn\work,and some berries and other bits and pieces.

And be sure you get native ,or better still locally,grown stuff,and beware of stuff like wierd non-native dogwood,and Spanish Elder(larger ,more rounded leaf,and...........err........it grows like stink!).
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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby boboff » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:31 am

I had trouble this year with Ash and Alder, I could tell them apart.

Apparently I couldn't tell me Ash from me Alder.

Isn't a good copice Hazel Holly Hawthorn?

Also Alder gives Nitrogen back to the soil, so shouldn't you factor more of that in to balance your planting?
Millymollymandy wrote:Bloody smilies, always being used. I hate them and they should be banned.
No I won't use a smiley because I've decided to turn into Boboff, as he's turned all nice all of a sudden. Grumble grumble.

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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby me-o-matic » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:44 pm

Hi all,

So I'm still working away on this willow.

I now have
0-500: planted, grew a year, cut down to 2 foot, grown another year
500-1000: planted, grew a year, cut down to 2 foot a few weeks ago
1000-1500: planted a few weeks go
1500-200: planting next Christmas!

I need to start thinking of how I manage the actual coppicing in my 4 year rotation. Any tips on how to cut it down?

I id the cut at 1 year at a 2 foot height, so that all the shoots woudl grow from there and not ground level... and it would make it easier to cut in future.

When I want to harvest, do I cut each shoot off perpendicular to the trunk?
Do I cut it all off in one clean sweep at the trunk?

Advice, pointers, links appreciated.
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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby doofaloofa » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:41 pm

Pumkinpie wrote:Great idea doofaloofa.

Lochside Yogi wrote:I like the thinking Doofaloofa

diggernotdreamer wrote: Doofa and I have exchanged genetic material
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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby me-o-matic » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:55 pm

I never though about thinning, to create fewer thicker stems.....


This is the first lot, growing high again after having been cut:
http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u194 ... c9b73a.jpg

Halfway through planting a few weeks ago:
http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u194 ... 8a4539.jpg
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Re: manage my willow coppice?

Postby doofaloofa » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:22 am

Pumkinpie wrote:Great idea doofaloofa.

Lochside Yogi wrote:I like the thinking Doofaloofa

diggernotdreamer wrote: Doofa and I have exchanged genetic material
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