In another thread, allen lumley mentioned starting a thread on coppicing. Coppicing is a wood management technique that involves cutting a tree without killing it. Many trees will regrow when cut back, causing them to stay in a juvenile stage. Properly done, coppiced trees can last for many years. Since it takes a lot of energy for a tree to put down roots, coppicing retains a healthy root system, meaning the whole firewood process is more efficient than starting over from a fresh replant.
Here's a bit on some coppicing I've done, all quite by accident. It looks promising enough for me to invest in some hybrid poplar trees for self sustaining firewood on a small land plot. Have any of you tried coppicing? If so, how is it working for you? What tree species are you using?
Coppicing is particularly attractive to those of us using gravity feeding rocket stoves. The wood tends to grow straight, meaning less energy is wasted cutting it in smaller straight portions. Since the wood used is smaller in diameter (6" and smaller in most cases), less time and energy is spent splitting wood. Smaller pieces of wood season faster than large logs and are so much easier to handle. This becomes a big deal as we grow older and less able to do what we once were able to.
I hope this gives you some ideas on better firewood management. Just because the solar energy that trees harvest is free, doesn't mean we can't use it efficiently.
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