August 11, 2021

Coppicing -  \ ˈkä-pəs iŋ- noun

A pruning technique where trees are cut back down to ground level periodically to encourage more vigorous growth.

Coppicing in the Forest Garden:

Farmers will choose to coppice some of their trees for a couple of reasons. The intended outcome of coppicing is to promote additional growth of a tree through the shoots located at its base. After cutting the tree down to its trunk, the tree will be left with many shoots that will soon begin to reemerge more vigorously. Every time this process happens, more shoots grow back. A farmer could decide to routinely coppice trees in the green wall to strengthen and fortify the amount of branches forming a protective barrier.  

Additionally, when selecting the appropriate species, everything that is cut back can be used as supplemental nourishment for livestock. A farmer can simply take the remaining branches that have been cut and carry them to the animal pens. This supplemental nourishment will drastically reduce a farmer’s need to purchase expensive livestock feed. If the trees a farmer decides to coppice are not suitable for livestock, the remaining branches that have been cut can be chopped and dropped around crops in the field to provide green fertilizer and reduce moisture loss from heat evaporation. Branches can also be used for timber purposes or fuelwood.  

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