Does anyone have any rough, average, rule of thumb numbers for how much wood, in the form of prunings and trees removed for renovations, would be produced by a typical apple orchard? How about a filbert or other nut plantation? Or any other relevant comparisons?
Often woody material isn't even added into yield tables until it reaches a particular diameter so the vast majority of prunings are not even going to be counted, just the trunk wood and primary limbs.
What is the goal of generating the woody material? Soil building? Biochar? Home heat?
If you are looking to produce large quantities of wood than there are many species that will meet your goals better than orchard trees.
I would be curious the find out what your results are on your own property.
There are excellent timber and nut varieties available if you live OUTSIDE of California which has me a bit bummed.
There has been extensive research and development done with crossing Chinese chestnut resistance to blight into American Chestnut. I believe they have back crossed the strains to 95% American Chestnut genetics and maintained the resistance.
I would love to experiment with an acre or two of chestnut. Even if you only used it for firewood and pig fodder the yield rates look incredible.
A quick google search gave me this article and I have found yield tables in the past.
We recommend planting 1200 trees per acre, which means spacing your trees on 6'x 6' centers. These 10” unrooted Frysville Hybrid Poplar cuttings when planted as early as possible in March thru May will reach heights of five to eight feet by the end of their first summer. By the end of the second growing season they will have reached heights of from 10 to 14 feet and by the end of four years will be approximately 25 to 30 feet high. We suggest the planting of ¼ to ½ acre per year according to your needs with unrooted cuttings. This will be done for four successive years. At the end of four years the trees from the first years planting of ¼ acre will have reached 25 to 30 foot high, should be approximately 4 to 6 inches in caliber and should yield 3 cords of great firewood. On the second and succeeding harvest this same planting will yield five cords. This size is just right without having to split it to fit into your stove.
I wouldn't plant poplar. They are fast growing but without any value. Grow hardwoods, nut trees, honey trees. Stuff that is useful for you even when you don't coppice.
While they don't have the BTU's of harder woods, it seems to me that, because of their growth rate, they are a reasonable choice until harder trees are large enough for coppicing. My test poplars will be large enough to coppice next year but my black locust and osage orange are a number of years away yet. When they are large enough, I will make the decision to keep/not keep the poplar. Space permitting, I'll probably keep a few as a source of cuttings for anyone interested in starting their own.
Paulownia is best when you grow stuff just to burn it. Better heating value than poplar and willow and grows equally fast.
Not a species of tree that I'd heard of before (probably because it's Asian in origin!) but it certainly looks like it's something worth experimenting with.
Paulownia is frost resistant after 2 years. Poplar and willow need moist to wet soil.
We get winter temps to -25C which seems to be more frosty than Paulownia can handle. My poplars grew about 7' this year and they are on the top of a dry berm. Perhaps they would have done better if the soil hadn't be so dry. They did grow quite slowly the first couple of years but I think that was due to the fact that they had lots of competition from surrounding vegetation. I've found that scything around new tree plantings for the first 3 years helps them compete with the already established vegetation. Once the roots are established, clearing surrounding vegetation doesn't seem so critical.