Regenerating coppiced willow
|Coppicing is the process of cutting trees down,
allowing the stumps to regenerate for a number of years (usually 7 - 25) and then
harvesting the resulting stems.
It makes use of the natural
regeneration properties of many tree species, including Oak, Hazel, Maple, Sweet Chestnut,
Lime and Ash. Cut such trees down and they will regenerate from the cut stump, producing
many new shoots, rather than a single main stem. Regrowth can be exceedingly rapid, with
new shoots growing as much as 5cm a day. Oak stems can exceed 2m growth in one season,
while Sallow may grow to almost 4m high in the first summer1.
The word 'coppice' is derived from the French 'couper' which means 'to cut'. Coppice trees and their produce are known as
The length of the rotational cycle will depend on the tree species, as well as the projected use of the product. A typical rotation might be on a cycle of 7 - 8 years. Many traditional uses require 7 - 15 year old material, although some modern commercial use may take larger material, up to 30 years old.
1 Oliver Rackham, 2001, Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape.
Woodland Management Contents