Renate Haeckler wrote:The main problem with trees is that once they're cut you can't cut them again for at least a year or you risk weakening them too much,...
Tina Paxton wrote:Boyd Craven Jr., founder of the Urban Rabbit Project and the FB group Backyard Meat Rabbits and author of "Beyond the Pellet" discovered a potentially great resource for forage -- willow bushes selectively grown (NOT GMO--just selective breeding) for Biomass production. Thus, they were selected for fast growth and coppicing. Willow is comparable to alfalfa in protein so would work as a replacement for alfalfa in rabbit feed (and other livestock where alfalfa is used like horses and goats). The particular farm he found and that we are purchasing willows from is Double A Willow (www.doubleawillow.com/). I just planted 60 willow starts. Next year, I'll begin a systematic harvesting of the willows -- not technically coppicing or pollarding as I won't remove all branches at once. Time will tell if that works better than rotational coppicing....
Abe Connally wrote:
willow requires a lot of water, so I don't think it's an appropriate species for drought prepping.
Abe Connally wrote:
willow requires a lot of water, so I don't think it's an appropriate species for drought prepping. Poplar might be better, mulberry better than that, and something like mesquite even better than that. Willow's got <15% protein, so not quite the same as alfalfa's >18%, but it should be a decent fodder, nonetheless. Willows won't grow in most dry areas without irrigation or close proximity to water. IMO, if you are going to use the water to grow something, you should grow something with more nutrition than willow, and save willow for marginal land that isn't good for high value crops.
Cj Verde wrote:
Well, they do use willow in Australia & NZ during their summer drought. Probably not appropriate for a dry environment but I think it's OK for a seasonal drought. The best thing would be to plant multiple species to cover all your bases.
Growing a variety of options is always best to cover one's bases.