Please reccommend me some wetland tree species for short rotation coppice.
April 1, 2011 3:40 AM   Subscribe

Am wondering what tree species would make for a good short rotation copice for a wood burner.

It would only use up about half an acre of land and is situated in a wetland area that is saturated with water for a large proportion of the year. The soil is mostly clay.

I have already planted a few different willow species and have heard that hazel and ash might be good but I don't have enough knowledge on what other tree species would be good for a short rotation coppice.

Could someone please reccomend me some good tree species to plant in this area please.
posted by sockpim to Science & Nature (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Alder isn't spectacular firewood, but is pretty decent and grows well in wet areas.

What hardiness zone are you located in? I wish you had a slightly drier area, because I would love to recommend almond as a wonderful firewood that allows for a 7-10 year coppice with the side benefit of a harvestable crop.
posted by Alcibiades. at 4:23 AM on April 1, 2011

Having looked into your case a little bit more, based on BTU content of wood and wetland area I would recommend water hickory. It's a very fast-growing tree that lends excellently to coppicing and thrives in wetland conditions. It also produces top-of-the-line firewood, making it the triple threat you seek.
posted by Alcibiades. at 4:44 AM on April 1, 2011

Based on what some friends are doing here in Sweden, I would recommend that you continue on the salix-path. (Naturally I don't know anything about your specific location or situation.)

My friends uses some of the newer salix hybrids that have a higher energy contents than "ordinary" salix. They claim that two tonnes of dried salix is the ekvivalent of one cubicmeter of fuel oil.

They calculate to be able to harvest their salix every forth year for the coming twenthy years.

But, as far as I know they don't have waterlogged ground, although they have their plot on less than fertile lands.

Could you perhaps contact you local agricultural out-reach programme and ask for specific information about your area?

Good luck!
posted by Rabarberofficer at 6:43 AM on April 1, 2011

This guy posts regularly about his willow coppice and spoke well of "biomass" varieties. His how-to also suggests riding around and finding a native tree growing in similar circumstances, and rooting a branch of that. I think most things that would coppice well are also probably inclined to adventitious rooting.
posted by momus_window at 9:18 AM on April 1, 2011

Alder and maple both can be coppiced, but I'm not sure they're short rotation or not. As a woodsy sort of person (and not an owner of a wood stove), I can't really recommend willow as, much like poplar, it burns rather poorly.
posted by fiercekitten at 9:49 PM on April 1, 2011

Response by poster: @ Alcibiades,

The hardiness zone is 7-8. (I don't know if this helps at all also, but the soil has an above average amount iron in it.)
posted by sockpim at 12:18 PM on April 2, 2011

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