Our ethic

What exactly is a coppice?

What exactly is a coppice?

A coppice is a plantation of underwood and young trees grown for periodical cutting.

The Whitestone woods (a coppice near Weston in North Otago) provides me with some of the timber that I use. Whitestone woods is a traditional British style plantation of Oak, Ash, Elm and Lime. These species can produce large quantities of wood in rotations as short as only seven years.

When most European and North American broad leaf trees are cut just above the ground line (far from being detrimental to the tree) the tree has renewed vigour, and from the trunk and root stock vigourous shoots are thrown up. These shoots can be harvested on a large scale and in a sustainable way at various stages of growth depending on their intended use. Coppice harvesting in this fashion has been carried out many hundreds of years.

The size of the timber depends upon the time of harvest and the variety of tree.
In this way a range of timber is produced from whippy and slender shoots through to the most sturdy of poles.

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