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Coppice for wildlife?

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Coppice for wildlife?

Postby Boll Weevil » Mon May 06, 2019 7:47 am

Mostly because it's easier on the back, when I'm precommercial thinning for improved species mix, spacing, and stem quality I just lop the tree off at about shin height. Depending on available sunlight, about 15-20% of these stems coppice and whaddya know...the deer browse the the tender growth. The other 80% of stems die and never resprout.

Quite by accident did I stumble upon this outcome, but wondered if anyone else sees this and/or even purposely creates coppice-food? I'm sure it's only temporary due to browse pressure and canopy competition but any drawbacks you've observed?
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Re: Coppice for wildlife?

Postby PickettSFHunter » Mon May 06, 2019 8:03 am

The drawback for me is that the survivors make a tree that will never be worth anything for timber(assuming it was a timber tree to begin with). I tend to see a higher rate of survival than you are seeing when I do that. Of course you can always chemically treat the survivors.

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Re: Coppice for wildlife?

Postby TheLBLman » Mon May 06, 2019 9:27 am

PickettSFHunter wrote: I tend to see a higher rate of survival than you are seeing when I do that.

Me, too, especially with trash trees.

What I often see happen is we end up with a multi-trunked tree that, after only a few years (if not killed),
ends up being about as large as the nearby trees not cut. Apparently, the "cut" tree is able to benefit from its advanced root structure allowing it to "catch up" and grow much faster than a seedling tree.

The lower you can cut, the better, but it's often hard to get at ground level without actually having your blade hit the ground which often contains blade-dulling rocks. Also, some trees will actually be "like rock" at ground level, while the wood is much softer & easier to cut at "shin" level.
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Re: Coppice for wildlife?

Postby Os2 Outdoors » Mon May 06, 2019 11:16 am


There's many studies that highlight the benefits of coppice regeneration

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