Tuesday 20 February 2024

Short Rotation Willow Coppice - Managing 1 & 2 Year Regrowth

 Back in January I cut the next section of willow coppice. When I did this I also decided to tackle the job of managing the regrowth on the other sections I had previously cut. 



The maintenance for the willow doesn't take long, but it is essential it's done every year to keep it growing just how I want it. 

And because I'm after firewood I manage it differently to if I was growing it for biomass. 

I'm after each stool to grow three strong shoots. The first year they put up plenty of growth, so it's a job of selecting out the best ones and removing all the others. 


Year two it's just a job of removing any more shoots that have grown from down the bottom.

All this whippy growth can be used, either in structures in the garden, or to plant more willow  - last year we planted a bank at my brothers with 300 of these shoots cut up to make new trees, they take so easily! 


I'm so tempted to clear another little section where it's been full of weeds and plant some basket willow there. I've tried before but could never quite get it to establish in the same way. 

The whole job took about an hour and was quite a nice way to spend a bit of time outside on a winters day. 

6 comments:

  1. There is nothing better than a task which keeps you warm on a cool day, and then a hot drink whilst you stand and enjoy your work.

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    1. I agree! And one where I can really see what I've done as well!

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  2. Will you be coppicing your brothers bank? Did they all take? It would be good to see photos of the bank in another post Kev.

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    1. I think we will in some way. They sell and hire wood chippers so the plan is they can use some of the willow for demos and to show people how to use the machines. I have a feeling there will be plenty though and we can go through it every few years, espeically when we need some materials for things. I'll do an update next time I'm over there!

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  3. Interesting compared to the hazel coppicing that we did 50 years ago in Sussex. There we had a 5-7 year rotation and no intermediate maintenance, and mainly took the wood for stakes, runner bean poles and other garden use, and the tops for pea sticks, all in the big house garden.

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    1. I'd like to plant some more hazel here, I think for poles and stuff you're right the shorter rotation for hazel works well. The willow provides a wide range of sizes but obviously doens't last long in the ground with anything I make.

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