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Coppicing and Pollarding - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Coppicing and Pollarding

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  • Coppicing and Pollarding

    Intro to the traditional woodland manangement craft of Coppicing

    Dmun made a comment not terribly long ago about deforestation in Britain which reminded me of this. Has anyone ever done this or thought about it? I find it fascinating and Alabama has a number of suitable varieties of trees.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

    "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
    [/CENTER]

  • #2
    Re: Coppicing and Pollarding

    Thanks for the link to coppicing: I'd never heard of it. I suspect that it's too labor intensive to be considered in the states; even selective cutting of mature trees instead of clear cutting is considered an uneconomic practice in the lumber industry.

    It's true that 16th century England was ravaging it's forests: a lot of them went for firewood to produce the oceans of glass fashionable in manor houses of the period. It's one of the reasons that England was so enthusiastic about the new world: unlimited firewood. One of our first industries was glassmaking for export.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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    • #3
      Re: Coppicing and Pollarding

      I had small acreage management in mind, actually. There's a market of crafters who use poles (okay, that's mostly re-enactors) and even a budding 'natural' charcoal market - it's a diverse enough management that (with a heck of a lot of work) it might just be self-supporting.

      But I just want firewood without clear cutting.

      I didn't know that about glass making - thanks.
      Last edited by Archena; 05-18-2010, 04:32 PM.
      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

      "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
      [/CENTER]

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      • #4
        Re: Coppicing and Pollarding

        Alot of people over here in the country areas and with some acreage, have planted wood lots specifically for firewood production. If you plant around 1000 trees, you can start harvesting in around 5 years through thinning out allowing the others to grow with more room for expansion. You will use more smaller trees but as they grow, you cut less for the same amount of wood. There are thousands of acres of commercially growing firewood now which will be resourced in the years to come.
        An old mate of mine was a wood cutter for 60 years and was contracted to cut out every second row or trial growing Eucalypt varieties that were planted in the early 1900's for the mining industry. They were not successful and were wasting away so the Govt wanted half of them cut for the steel mills to ship their steel in ships from Whyalla.
        Well, the Greenies got stuck into his equipment, letting his loader tyres down on regular occasions, leaving the valves there, just releasing the air. he was only to take the millable timber and was not permitted to take the smaller firewood but was to be left o the forest floor for mulch. Well, the greenies cleaned it all out every week and now a couple of years on, they have contacted him wanting him to cut down all the remaining trees because the ones that were cut have all reshot grown profusely and have attracted more bird life than ever before. He has since retired and sold his heavy wood handling equipment.
        He also has around 10,000 trees planted for firewood but still has many tons of old dead trees which he mills usable timber out and burns the rest

        Neill
        Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

        The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


        Neill’s Pompeiii #1
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        • #5
          Re: Coppicing and Pollarding

          True stories:

          I went to college in New Mexico and the guys would tease me because I said there were no trees. (Lincoln National Forest is so sparse that you could literally drive a semi through it and never touch a tree.)

          Well, I was sick and skipped a semester. A friend came to visit and the first thing he said getting off the bus was "you didn't tell me the whole state was a forest!"

          A couple years later another friend called and asked to come over. When he got there he apologized for teasing me for so long. He'd seen a film on house construction that day - it was filmed in S. Carolina. It showed the empty lot and the narrator said this was where the house would go. My friend's first question was 'where?' - he'd never seen a wooded lot so thick.

          Alabama has no shortage of trees - throw a rock and you're pretty likely to hit one - but part of the reason we still have so much lumber is that we work hard to manage it well. When I (finally) have my own land, I want to use it well.

          And have plenty of firewood!
          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

          "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
          [/CENTER]

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          • #6
            Re: Coppicing and Pollarding

            Originally posted by nissanneill View Post
            Alot of people over here in the country areas and with some acreage, have planted wood lots specifically for firewood production. If you plant around 1000 trees, you can start harvesting in around 5 years through thinning out allowing the others to grow with more room for expansion. You will use more smaller trees but as they grow, you cut less for the same amount of wood. There are thousands of acres of commercially growing firewood now which will be resourced in the years to come.
            An old mate of mine was a wood cutter for 60 years and was contracted to cut out every second row or trial growing Eucalypt varieties that were planted in the early 1900's for the mining industry. They were not successful and were wasting away so the Govt wanted half of them cut for the steel mills to ship their steel in ships from Whyalla.
            Well, the Greenies got stuck into his equipment, letting his loader tyres down on regular occasions, leaving the valves there, just releasing the air. he was only to take the millable timber and was not permitted to take the smaller firewood but was to be left o the forest floor for mulch. Well, the greenies cleaned it all out every week and now a couple of years on, they have contacted him wanting him to cut down all the remaining trees because the ones that were cut have all reshot grown profusely and have attracted more bird life than ever before. He has since retired and sold his heavy wood handling equipment.
            He also has around 10,000 trees planted for firewood but still has many tons of old dead trees which he mills usable timber out and burns the rest

            Neill

            Such a very amazing link!

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            • #7
              Re: Coppicing and Pollarding

              I live on 270 acres of Eastern Canadian forest and 40 years on regrown pasture. I hate to use large wood in my oven as I am yearly cutting down a quadrant around the house and shops of 4-5year old ''coppiced '' trees growing from the original stumps. They can range from 1'' to 3inches in id. Perfect for the oven . I let them dry for a least a year covered with a sheet of tin roofing, unsplit . Oak takes longer. When I get round to that quadrant again in 4-5 years , there they are again . Maple, oak and what we call ''trash '' trees box elder , willow, and polar seem to come back with the most vigour. But they all burn!

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