Coppicing our Farm Woodland
Here are a few pictures of the coppicing we have just finished on the farm helping us stock up on firewood for the wood stoves in the log cabins. (Pictures can be found: via our Facebook page in the Coppicing Album or via this link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.762353707127683.1073741828.471372196225837&type=1 )
Coppicing is the harvesting of timber on a regular basis (20 years for ash) rather than waiting for one very big tree to grow (50 -70 years plus for ash). When the timber is big enough to harvest it is cut and and then let to re-grow with more shoots coming out of the stump cut creating a denser growth of timber.
This can make the tree last a lot longer than a traditional tree being left to grow very tall. There are coppiced woods with trees/stumps known to be well over 600 years old. Coppicing also is of great advantage to wildlife as it creates a varied habitat with the woodland floor being opened up to daylight so plants and undergrowth can develop.
This is the first coppicing I have done and it has been an interesting and challenging exercise but great fun during the good weather. This wood was just over 1 acre and two of us managed to clear most of it in 4 hard working days and left us with a good heap of timber to be processed into firewood (cutting into correct lengths, splitting into right size and then stacking in the shed).
I am happy to share my experience and learn from others! Our next job is processing the timber and then fencing in the wood to protect the delicate new growth from the local Roe deer on the farm.