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Looking for good biomass producing plants that work well in the SE

 
Algernon Gordon
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I'm in the Atlanta area and am looking for perrenial plants that will grow very fast and can be chopped down (partially) for mulch. I'm hoping to find something woody/shrubby that gets a little large (10' to 20') so I can harvest a lot of biomass from it continuously. I have some areas that get 8 hours of direct sun, and a lot of other areas that are either full shade, or partial shade.

I've done some searching on this but can't find anything specific to my area and a lot of what I find is geared to more northern areas. I also find a lot of suggestions for smaller non-woody plants likee Comfrey and other low cover grops, which I do intend to use, but I'm hoping to find more woody perrenials to add even more biomass to my soil.

Thanks in advance!
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Vetiver grass?

Forms clumps/hedges that make good natural terraces. You can cut the clumps regularly with something like a hedge trimmer and let the grass lie as a mulch. Really deep rooted and once established can tolerate drought and flood. Vetiver can serve a similar purpose to swales - slowing and holding back surface water to increase infiltration.
 
Algernon Gordon
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Thanks for the reply. I looked it up and it looks like it would be a good option though apparently it is only suited to zone 9-11 and I'm in 7b.
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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Willow? It has been used for a long time in England as a biomass plant. The real vigorous growth doesn't come until the second and third years, so it is often on a 3-5 year coppice cycle. There is even a Willow Biomass Project at this link if you want more info. It does particularly well in wet spots in our thick Georgia clay.
 
Algernon Gordon
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Willow tree.... interesting. I never would have thought of that. My yard does stay pretty damp in a few places so maybe a willow would work nicely. Thanks for the tip!
 
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