[permaculture] coppice and food crops

Harmon Seaver hseaver at gmail.com
Sun Apr 6 09:26:59 EDT 2008

rafter t. sass wrote:
> I'm looking for references on the effect of coppice management on nut  
> and fruit production.
> Specifically - how long is the wait after cutting tree til it yields  
> again? How long does it take to get a decent yield again from that  
> individual?

   Are you talking about coppicing or pollarding? I'm no expert, but I
don't see how you can expect any nut or fruit production from trees that
you coppice, as normally you would cut those at around 5-12 years of age
to get poles or small firewood sticks, or ??? And then again in another
5 or so years (although I think you can cut trees like willow, aspen, or
 alder a lot sooner depending upon what your needs are) so they'd hardly
ever get to the fruit or nut production size.
   If you are talking about pollarding, where you cut off a mature tree
fairly high off the ground that then resprouts many branches, that's a
different story, and what you get is entirely dependent upon the
species. The book (books, actually, vol. 1 & 2) "Edible Forest Gardens"
has an appendix on coppicing various species.
   Although for the life of me I've never quite understood the purpose
of pollarding, unless you just have very little room to grow anything.
Coppicing, OTOH, is a great idea, especially for energy crops. We've got
a lot of alder we want to start coppicing for firewood.

Harmon Seaver

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