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Short Rotation Coppice

Posted: 20 Oct 2017, 20:31
by al.whitworth
I'm interested in the concept of Short Rotation Coppice for woodfuel, but pretty much all the info I read points to using hybrid willows, which I'd rather avoid. There are plenty of mentions of trials going on for other varieties, but no results I can find, probably because they're recent. I know in Shetland and Orkney they didn't find much difference in the growth rates of the hybrids versus normal species they use (inc some non-natives), but again I don't have any details of which species.

Does anyone have any experience of coppicing different willows and can comment on the suitability of our native willows for woodfuel on something like a 5 year rotation.

Re: Short Rotation Coppice

Posted: 30 Oct 2017, 17:18
by donald.mcphillimy
Short Rotation Coppice got a bit of a bad name for itself as it became an industrial process. All the research went into faster and faster growth rates, no matter what the sustainability of the plant, the stand or the soils. Specialised combine harvesters were developed. It all became very industrial and corporate.

Better to step back a pace or two and consider less intensively bred willows and poplars, also alder, grown on a slightly longer rotation, with greater nature conservation benefits.

There is a lot of research literature out there if you are prepared to dig it out. Try starting with Forest Research.

Re: Short Rotation Coppice

Posted: 21 Nov 2017, 15:47
by al.whitworth
Thanks for the reply. The area I am considering is very wet, so I was leaning towards Alder anyway. It's interesting what you say about SRC as I'd got that impression too, it barely looks better than intensive arable farming in many ways, and I really don't like the idea of a field of hybrid clones!

Re: Short Rotation Coppice

Posted: 25 Feb 2019, 11:12
by Connors
Is Alder what you want to go with in very wet areas?