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Short Rotation Forestry

Short Rotation Forestry
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Short Rotation Forestry is another CD3WD document.  This one was written by Geoffrey Stanford and published by the Greenhills Foundation from  Dallas Texas.

This involves coppicing, and since this is a rare skill in the USA I will add the authors words from his introduction:

Coppicing is almost unknown in the USA – perhaps only a few of you know what the word means. It is a technique of woodland husbandry which has an unbroken history in Europe which goes back at least 5,000 years. Under normal forestry management today we grow of the order of 0.5-10 tons of wood per acre per year – the annual increment; the national norm is ITS-3tons/acre.

By coppicing we can certainly achieve 5-10 tons annual increment immediately, and we can confidently expect that by normal agricultural programs of selection and mutation engineering we can raise that to 20-30 tons each year within a decade or two.
During the last few years there has been an awakening of interest here in coppicing techniques; the reports call it silage sycamore, pucker brush, short-rotation, and mini-rotation forestry.

Coppicing consists of growing nursling trees very densely – a 4 x 4 ft. spacing is not unusual. juvenile vigor, a quickly closed canopy, and intense competition, induce great height increments in the spring; this is followed by substantial increases in girth later in the year. After 3-5 years the growth is harvested during the winter as close to the ground as possible. The dormant buds at the root collar zone in the stump are thereby excited into maturation, and in the early spring they call on the sugars stored in the intact root system and grow swiftly into strong water sprouts.

These sprouts are again harvested in 3-5 years, and so the cycle is repeated indefinitely. That is the principle; the details vary, depending on climate, species, sail, marketable product, etc. Today I will talk mainly about the coppicing practices needed IX maximize yield for use as a furnace fuel. But before that I will give you a little insight into the long and respectable history of coppicing, and a quick rundown on some of the energy budgets involved.

This is most well know for basket weavers, as it is a common way to harvest pliable materials for weaving.  I tried it with my willow fence, but I did not keep up with it and the willows were burned and destroyed in a ditch clearing activity.

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