Did you know that there is a sustainable, renewable, carbon-netural, and high-yielding way to harvest and produce wood? We recently learned about this technique and have included it in this week’s tip.

Coppicing and pollarding is a method that produces wood over a 5 to 20 year time frame. It is generally most applicable to the rural farmer or homesteader with a woodland to manage. Here’s how it works:

During the dormant period (typically late winter/early spring), deciduous trees are cut back. When growth resumes, fresh shoots will grow in their place. These shoots are then harvested at their desired size, anywhere from 5 to 25 years later. Coppicing occurs when the wood is cut right at ground level while pollarding is done at a height of 8-10 feet high to prevent browsing animals from eating the fresh shoots.

This method is great since the selected trees already have a fully developed root system and can tap into their existing root stores to grow back quickly in the spring. Coppicing is often done with willow or dogwood for fuel and craft purposes

Cover Image by postman.pete, used under its Creative Commons license.

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