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Thread: Tree plantations?

  1. #1

    Tree plantations?

    I have read that some hunt tree plantations. Someone mentioned willow. What comercial value is a willow tree, or the other trees, if any in a plantation? In East Texas pine trees are grown for pulp wood to make paper and saw logs. capt david

  2. #2
    Willow is grown as a biofuel, planted, toppedafter 1st year then coppiced every 3ish years for biofuel to power elecy power stations. It (atleast in sw scot) is quite a newish idea i think further south thwy try elphant grass and hazel too
    In most of scotland and uk pine is the commercial crop similar to u, pulp/chip/burnng/pallet for the low grades of timber and depending on tree type, ground, climate u might get better logs for timber/house building

  3. #3
    Round here in Chelmsford, Essex, alot of Willow is specifically planted and nurtured for the cricket bat trade and its more than you can imagine.

    The trees have to be kept well maintained and pruned to insure the straightest wood possible.

    The sites are usually pretty recognisable as the trees are given more space than 'bio fuel' plantations and it is usually clear that they are well looked after. You'll even see the same sort of maintained trees in hedge rows.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by captdavid View Post
    I have read that some hunt tree plantations. Someone mentioned willow. What comercial value is a willow tree, or the other trees, if any in a plantation? In East Texas pine trees are grown for pulp wood to make paper and saw logs. capt david
    Others have dealt with willow and its many uses but you have to consider that certainly south of Scotland many of our forests and woods are composed mainly of slow growing tight grained hardwoods and very ancient with many trees of several hundred years old and more. These have a huge value as timber for making furniture and other premium uses. The less ancient trees like hazel and ash are harvested for fuel and stick making as well as charcoal production. The style of harvesting is often something called coppicing where the tree is encouraged to grow many smaller shoots and stems rather than a big tall one with a canopy. The aim is to get a volume of wood rather than thick pieces and the coppices really suit some of our deer species. Charcoal is often made in the traditional way with itinerant craftsmen moving from wood to wood to harvest the trees and make their charcoal, the increase in popularity of BBQs has helped this. We also have another group of craftsmen called "bodgers" who turn wood on foot operated lathes to repair chairs and other furniture and they also sometimes use the wood harvested in coppicing but prefer harder woods like beech, chestnut or oak. It's where the expression a "botched/bodged" job comes from.

    We had a period after WWII when much of the country's forests were put over to fast growing softwoods like pine and spruce in large mono-cultures but the most recent trend is that when these are felled they are replaced with a mix of the more traditional native species, certainly in areas which have any conservation status. Generally this is much better for the deer as well.

  5. #5
    I was told as a lad that willow charcoal was high-grade for art purposes - drawing.

    paul k You are the first person I have heard-of in a long time who knew about the old bodgers. There was also a craft trade in alder. Another type of bodger would rent a stretch of river bank where he would set up camp and coppice chosen alders then use his cleaver to fashion the rough shapes of clogs which were stockpiled and sent to small factories where they were refined.
    Alder is light and tough. It is also tolerant of permanent wet and was used to line underground drains.

    I'm afraid that much as I lived and worked amongst it, I've probably forgotten much of what I was told as a boy as my head was full of stuff like trout fishing. More's the pity, but perhaps not many PC addicts would be interested these days in any case.

    K.
    Opinions often differ according to unknown circumstances.

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