Woodland management


How to coppice

Coppicing is best carried out during dormancy in the winter as the tree stump is easier to work on and the bark is less likely to tear from the wood.

The tree stump is cut and harvested on a rotational cycle, this means that stumps are left to grow for a certain number of years before they are cut back down to around 15cm above the ground for the process to start again.

Cuts to the stump should be clean with no splits in the wood and should have a sloping edge which allows water to run off of the stump, which helps to prevent decay. A well maintained billhook or handsaw can be used to carry this out. Larger shoots may require an axe or a chainsaw.

Rotations depend on the species of the tree but a typical rotation will be on a seven to eight yearly cycle, this also depends on what the material will be used for.

It is important to protect stumps from being browsed by animals - fences can be installed or brash can be piled on top of stumps to protect them. The latter is a much cheaper option.

Coppiced woodlands offer materials that can be used as sustainable firewood, fences, gates, beanpoles, hurdles, baskets, roof thatching, furniture, faggots, steaks, binders and charcoal.

Trees suitable for coppicing are:

  • oak
  • sweet chestnut
  • hazel
  • hornbeam
  • sycamore
  • willow
  • beech
  • alder
  • lime
  1. Introduction
  2. Creating woodlands
  3. Introduction to coppicing
  4. How to coppice (you are here)
  5. Pollarding introduction
  6. How to pollard
  7. Ash tree dieback
  8. Grown in Britain


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