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I'm loving using this as a fuel and it grows like a weed here. It coppices readily and seems to dry quickly for a hardwood. Also nice to cut and split.
I am also told that I should try to irradicate in my land as it is not a native. No other good reason is ever given when people tell me this.
So, why is it the bad guy? Apart from mould on the logs if you store them wrong, what does it do that's so wrong? I was considering 4 acres of new coppice as a fuel source for the rest of my days (hopefully).
It's quite invasive, and disliked for the way it can sprout in very low-light conditions and soon overshadow everything that once stood where it wanted to be. I can't really see them doing any harm though?
So it's foreign, invasive, strong and usefull... Just like the Saxons!
I bet they were disliked when they first got here, still here though and pretty widespread!
Wherever you go in the uk it seems to grow, it self seeds freely. It is brilliant for habitat for certain things. E.G greenfly, aphids-ladybirds and birds. Yes boring when there is too much of it. However I don't buy the whole native idea. We have excellent non natives such as the redwoods, monkey puzzle etc, If these species get wiped out in their native habitats, they could be restored by uk seed.
I have thought for a while now the need is to plant trees as a whole, we are more desperately in need of trees for many reasons, flooding, soil erosion, habitat, timber supplies, air quality and so on.
If we all stuck to the prevalent attitude of native we must, native its not diversity as a whole.
Sycamore is not a problem tree like willow for example in New Zealand this was introduced and is a weed everywhere along with gorse and troublesome.
If someone had planted Elm in the uk in the pre 70s what would they have now. Conker is going the same way it seems.
I suggest plant up to 80% sycamore if you want for coppice and can get transplants cheap enough and eventually to grub out. Space the other 20% with native to leave a nice mixed woodland for future generations. Maybe the odd specimen of foreigners as well.
I personally dont subscribe to all this idealism conforming pressure, think outside the box. Its like when the hedges where removed to make fields bigger, now they are replacing them. and a real bugbear is why do we have to waste resources at hedge planting at a nearly impossible in many situations at 6 per metre? Stock proof? What in the middle of arable country or roadside? How often are they laid to restockproof? I would go up to a metre apart for hedging Thats probably the survival rate at maturity.
My point, Your land you can do good in many non conforming ways. I wish I had the assets to plant my own woodland my way.
I wish you well have a good think get a few ideas. If winds of thought change cheap trees can be stripped out and a lucrative set up could be done later. We need timber we need trees.
Senior Member, Raffle Sponsor 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, User formerly known as little green woodchopper
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Mortimer Forest
Ive had more repeat orders for sycamore than beach it was billeted and stacked under a hedge in march when i started pulling it out at the beginning of October it looked like it had been there 3 years .Like you said only problem is the mould on the bottom of stack . Oh and i cant find any for next season .
It does not sit in the grate and sulk like some pieces of oak if not seasoned for four years. I have cut sycs to the floor here and four years later they are 20ft again. I would imagine it burns too quick on open fire but good in burner.
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Only "tree snobs" hate Sycamores, they are great trees!!!
Some of the big, old open grown ones are magnificent.
With regard to them not being native, some guy was telling me a few years back that in fact it was possible that they are, something to do with their seed not being able to fossilize, so it does not appear in the fossil record, could this be true???
I can only ever speak from my own personal experience
scyamore in woodlands are a problem due to their ability to dominiate the canopy with little light penetration they severly impact on natural regeneration of other species and also really effect the ground flora.
They are a great species to grow for wood fuel if your putting them in a plantation for coppice.
In terms of wildlife habitat, apart from the above issues I've mentioned they are exceptionally important to birds as a food source, being only second to oak in terms of the food chain they support.