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Yield per acre.

                          


Joined: Feb 09, 2011
Posts: 61
The standard thinking is that you can get a cord of wood per acre per year.  Working in the poplar lab, I learned that you could get three or four times that much (by weight) with selected trees in row crop style plantations, on 5 to 10 year rotations.  If we throw in polyculture and coppice, we might get even more, or at least get it with less planting and fertilizing effort.  In a permiculture setting, we want multiple uses, and that confuses the issue a little when estimating yield for a single item, like wood fiber, but I've been trying to think of analogs. 

Does anyone have any rough, average, rule of thumb numbers for how much wood, in the form of prunings and trees removed for renovations, would be produced by a typical apple orchard?  How about a filbert or other nut plantation?  Or any other relevant comparisons?

Dan
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
Good questions.  As usual, precise data on yields is hard to come by among permies.  Looking forward to this book coming out:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coppiceagroforestry/dave-and-mark-write-a-coppice-agroforestry-book
                          


Joined: Feb 09, 2011
Posts: 61
Oh yeah.  But I'm impatient.

Dan
Matt Banchero


Joined: Jun 12, 2011
Posts: 10
Yield data is going to be really hard to find for things like apple wood because usually apple isn't grown primarily for wood. 

Often woody material isn't even added into yield tables until it reaches a particular diameter so the vast majority of prunings are not even going to be counted, just the trunk wood and primary limbs.

What is the goal of generating the woody material?  Soil building?  Biochar?  Home heat?

If you are looking to produce large quantities of wood than there are many species that will meet your goals better than orchard trees. 

I would be curious the find out what your results are on your own property.

www.TheTreeHuggingTreeCutter.com

 

Matt Banchero


Joined: Jun 12, 2011
Posts: 10
It occurs to me that chestnut is an excellent source of both nuts and wood and I would think, provide the highest yield of both per acre if the site was appropriate. 

There are excellent timber and nut varieties available if you live OUTSIDE of California which has me a bit bummed. 

There has been extensive research and development done with crossing Chinese chestnut resistance to blight into American Chestnut.  I believe they have back crossed the strains to 95% American Chestnut genetics and maintained the resistance. 

I would love to experiment with an acre or two of chestnut.  Even if you only used it for firewood and pig fodder the yield rates look incredible. 

A quick google search gave me this article and I have found yield tables in the past.
http://www.elmpost.org/chestnut.htm
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit


Joined: Aug 08, 2010
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
Short turnover plantations are only feasible with heavy equipment - the tree is cut near to the ground. When you're going to use your chainsaw coppicing is the best method and that changes the trees your going to use and the spacing of the trees. Hazelnut is great, ash tree, maple, lime tree, hornbeam. Just to name a few. I would try chestnut, too, as MattB suggested.


Life that has a meaning wouldn't ask for its meaning. - Theodor W. Adorno
Sam White


Joined: Mar 08, 2011
Posts: 211
Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
    
    1
Sweet chestnut is coppiced very successfully in the South of England.


"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
            


Joined: Jun 27, 2010
Posts: 75
Location: Ontario, Canada (44.265475, -77.960029)
Frysville Farms:
We recommend planting 1200 trees per acre, which means spacing your trees on 6'x 6' centers. These 10” unrooted Frysville Hybrid Poplar cuttings when planted as early as possible in March thru May will reach heights of five to eight feet by the end of their first summer. By the end of the second growing season they will have reached heights of from 10 to 14 feet and by the end of four years will be approximately 25 to 30 feet high. We suggest the planting of ¼ to ½ acre per year according to your needs with unrooted cuttings. This will be done for four successive years. At the end of four years the trees from the first years planting of ¼ acre will have reached 25 to 30 foot high, should be approximately 4 to 6 inches in caliber and should yield 3 cords of great firewood. On the second and succeeding harvest this same planting will yield five cords. This size is just right without having to split it to fit into your stove.



Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit


Joined: Aug 08, 2010
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
I wouldn't plant poplar. They are fast growing but without any value. Grow hardwoods, nut trees, honey trees. Stuff that is useful for you even when you don't coppice.
            


Joined: Jun 27, 2010
Posts: 75
Location: Ontario, Canada (44.265475, -77.960029)
Dunkelheit wrote:
I wouldn't plant poplar. They are fast growing but without any value. Grow hardwoods, nut trees, honey trees. Stuff that is useful for you even when you don't coppice.


While they don't have the BTU's of harder woods, it seems to me that, because of their growth rate, they are a reasonable choice until harder trees are large enough for coppicing.  My test poplars will be large enough to coppice next year but my black locust and osage orange are a number of years away yet.  When they are large enough, I will make the decision to keep/not keep the poplar.  Space permitting, I'll probably keep a few as a source of cuttings for anyone interested in starting their own.
Sam White


Joined: Mar 08, 2011
Posts: 211
Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
    
    1
Willow would be an alternative to poplar. Similar BTU rating, it grows as fast or faster than poplar in some circumstances, and you have the choice of being able to use the willow for basket making
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit


Joined: Aug 08, 2010
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
Paulownia is best when you grow stuff just to burn it. Better heating value than poplar and willow and grows equally fast.
Sam White


Joined: Mar 08, 2011
Posts: 211
Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
    
    1
Dunkelheit wrote:
Paulownia is best when you grow stuff just to burn it. Better heating value than poplar and willow and grows equally fast.


Not a species of tree that I'd heard of before (probably because it's Asian in origin!) but it certainly looks like it's something worth experimenting with.
            


Joined: Jun 27, 2010
Posts: 75
Location: Ontario, Canada (44.265475, -77.960029)
Dunkelheit wrote:
Paulownia is best when you grow stuff just to burn it. Better heating value than poplar and willow and grows equally fast.


Doesn't work for me because it doesn't have the same cold tolerance as poplar and willow.

Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
Willow and poplar can both be used for feed for goats and rabbits, if that matters any.

I wouldn't use poplar for firewood, though, unless I had absolutely no choice.  I've burned it before, or tried to.  It's about as worthless a wood for heating a house as exists. 

Kathleen
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit


Joined: Aug 08, 2010
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
Paulownia is frost resistant after 2 years. Poplar and willow need moist to wet soil. Paulownia grows on contaminated, dry soil. Give them a sunny spot and they are a great asset. They don't grow high so they are outcompeted by slow growing trees that need a canopy to get established, eg. oak and fir. They are not as invasive as stated in wikipedia. There are always native trees that grow taller than Paulownia.
            


Joined: Jun 27, 2010
Posts: 75
Location: Ontario, Canada (44.265475, -77.960029)
Dunkelheit wrote:
Paulownia is frost resistant after 2 years. Poplar and willow need moist to wet soil.


We get winter temps to -25C which seems to be more frosty than Paulownia can handle.    My poplars grew about 7' this year and they are on the top of a dry berm.  Perhaps they would have done better if the soil hadn't be so dry. They did grow quite slowly the first couple of years but I think that was due to the fact that they had lots of competition from surrounding vegetation.  I've found that scything around new tree plantings for the first 3 years helps them compete with the already established vegetation.  Once the roots are established, clearing surrounding vegetation doesn't seem so critical.
 
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subject: Yield per acre.
 
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