What is the point of coppicing?
Since Neolithic times Coppicing has been used to produce a fast growing, reliable supply of timber. The benefit of coppicing over planting new trees is that the new shoots are growing from an established root structure, making the crop less susceptible to failure.
What are the best trees for coppicing?
Many different types of deciduous tree such as Alder, Ash, Beech, Birch, Hazzel, Hornbeam, Oak, Sweet Chestnut and Willow are used for coppicing, trees that bleed such as Maple are not good for coppicing, These days though Sweet Chestnut, Hazel and Hornbeam are the most common coppiced trees. In many cases coppicing a tree greatly extends the life of a tree.
What are the benefits of coppicing?
These days very little of our woods are actually coppiced for fuel, which would have been the number one reasoning for coppicing a wood a few hundred years ago. Instead coppicing these days has an ecological benefit, by removing some of the canopy through coppicing you create a ‘coup’ which allows heat and light to reach the forest floor. What happens then is nature will flourish, increasing the level of biodiversity in the area. Creatures to benefit from this lush new habitat and by springtime the forest floor is bursting with life.