Coppicing Birch

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dermot page

New Member
May 9, 2021
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Ireland
Hello
Does any one have experience in coppicing young birch? I have planted 20000 whips at 80cm by 80 cm which are now coming into growing season three. The basal diameter by this September should be on average 1.5". I have experimented cutting back with some patches of birch elsewhere on the farm but with moderate success (30-50% coppice). From what I have read online in Scandanavia, timing of coppicing , height above ground level to coppice at and basal diameter are all important with birch. Any suggestions much appreciated.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,141
4,493
Mid Wales
In my experience young birch (Betulus pendula) coppices reasonably successfully but not older tress (and nowhere near as reliably as hazel, ash, alder etc.). I would advise not trying till late autumn and I cut quite low down to the ground. Anything over 3" I wouldn't try with but if you're thinning anyway there's no harm.

Once you've started coppicing the older stools will successfully coppice again later but. again, don't let them get too big.
 

dermot page

New Member
May 9, 2021
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45
Ireland
Many thanks for your reply. Is weed competition an issue with sunlight and rubbing off of new buds? If so have you any experience of herbicide control with glyphosphate during dormant season after cut back? I know having grown biomass willow that it can be very susceptible to Roundup at any time of the year and I just wondered if birch is similar?
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
Glyphosate is really nasty ****. The residue can persist in veg for a decade, despite the BS from Monsanto(?) My neighbors used it. The overspray killed a part of my vineyard. So I dug up all the dead vines and threw them into their property.. No use to me any more. Not a whisper of herbicide ever since!

Why coppice birch? Some compulsion? 3"-6" stems are the best sap producers.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,141
4,493
Mid Wales
I don't use any herbicides. I tend to consider that 'weed' growth around the base protects the buds from browsing. The fresh green growth of a coppiced stool is very attractive to all browsing animals :( But then again, I am not producing wood for commercial reasons and everything is done on ecological grounds.
 
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