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To recap, we have been over the years planting our own firewood fuel for the future. We set off with a more traditional plantation of hazel, ash and oak coppice but since the problems with ash were not going to be abated, we added alder, birch, maple and, more controversially, sycamore and some SRC Willow hybrids. I am braced for the rock throwing but please remember that we are not planting woodland, we are planting energy crops.

 

I have been thinking about adding some Eucalyptus into the mix and sourced some seed from frost tolerant varieties. Even though I only sowed them this spring, I have had to plant them out as they are climbing out of their 2lt pots already (Omeo Gum) but all the other varieties are a bit more stable and will hopefully remain in pots until autumn.

 

After 8 seasons and for what it is worth, my non scientific thoughts in terms of productivity would be Alder, Birch and Syc are proving the best with the SRC Willow and Ash a close second.

 

Whilst this is even more difficult to quantify, the benefit to wildlife has been immeasurable and much more diverse than the most optimistic predictions.

 

I'm very pleased with progress but the trial goes on!

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The area of "shrub" that naturally regenerated on the bare peat (where I got a height dozed into a hollow) only about perhaps an acre in size, mostly goat willow and birch with a few whins and lodgepole pine, plus misc flowering shrubs, Rowan etc.

Plus I planted mostly quickthorn/whitethorn/hawthorn hedges over some 500m, which have been growing uncut and unchecked for prob 8 years and flowering in parts for the first time this year, and the smell on a damp morning was heavenly.

Is all proper HOOCHING with bird life and game trails.

not 100m from the house.

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No rock throwing here (although I didn't bother planting birch as it rots so quickly & we have plenty self seeding anyway). Can you post pictures of your efforts?

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Similar plantings to yours here Marko, but also growing Italian alder as windbreak, cherry (very fast growing so far) robinia, walnut, larch, lime (more for wildlife and craft), sweet chestnut and some random individual specimens here and there.

 

I had planted some more softwoods, but most of those didn't take.

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How is Alder as a firewood? I was under the impression it wasnae great, but the community forest project here has loads of it that could be thinned out as firewood.

 

Birch, Oak and Ash are all great, I would happily plant Sycamore for firewood (why the expected rocks). Willow's an odd option, quick to grow, but poor to burn. Eucalyptus is probably a very good call.

 

Keep us informed of how it's going!

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How is Alder as a firewood? I was under the impression it wasnae great, but the community forest project here has loads of it that could be thinned out as firewood.

 

Birch, Oak and Ash are all great, I would happily plant Sycamore for firewood (why the expected rocks). Willow's an odd option, quick to grow, but poor to burn. Eucalyptus is probably a very good call.

 

Keep us informed of how it's going!

 

Alder is good . Likes wet ground but once dried out burns well .

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Ah-ha, a use of all those acres of Alder, and there I was thinking they were only useful for sluice gates.

 

Cheers Stubby.

 

Oh forgot to say it makes good charcoal as well ...........:001_smile:

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