nitrogen-fixing coppice trees

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Douglas J.E. Barnes, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. Douglas J.E. Barnes

    Douglas J.E. Barnes Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi everyone,

    It's been a long time...

    Does anyone out there know of any nitrogen fixing trees that will not coppice? I'm trying to put together a decent database of coppiceable trees in different climates, and it would be easier to just hear of what cannot be coppiced when it comes to N-fixers.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    Douglas
     
  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Hi Douglas,

    Hope things are going well for you...

    You ask a difficult question...I've often wondered if there is a resource that listed the characteristics of various trees (and plants in general) that are of interest to Permaculturists. Nitrogen fixing and coppicing being two. I have not found such a resource... perhaps you are compiling one??? :idea:

    Anyhow, all I could find were studies done in Africa with a few species of coppicing and non-coppicing nitrogen fixers as soil improvement techniques for the raising of maize:

    https://www.millenniumvillages.org/docs/ ... June06.pdf page 12

    https://131.220.109.9/module/register/me ... 202006.pdf beginning on page 143

    https://books.google.com/books?id=XrKmcL ... lmjZ3HHq3Y
    Page 239

    I would be interested in the results of your work, if you're inclined to post it! :D

    9anda1f
     
  3. Douglas J.E. Barnes

    Douglas J.E. Barnes Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the links, I'll download them and dig through for the info.

    I have been digging here and there getting more and more info for a sudden obsession with coppicing (thanks to Ben Law's book The Woodland Way). I hit the FAO website and did get a fair chunk of info off of them and some other sources I found.

    For public consumption, this will ultimately go into an article on Permaculture Reflections (link in my signature). I will leave a note here when I finish the whole works (which will take some time).

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Ryan

    Ryan Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hello, I think the book "Permaculture Plants" by Jeff Nugent and Julia Boniface could help. There is a whole chapter on N fixers and their growing characteristics and uses. I got it for $21 on Amazon.
     
  5. Douglas J.E. Barnes

    Douglas J.E. Barnes Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Ryan. It is one of the books I am using to cross reference with. Unfortunately, there is not a lot on coppicing in Permaculture Plants.
     
  6. entrailer

    entrailer New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Italian Alder is one of these

    Hiya,

    Have had it on good authority that Italian alder (Alnus cordata) will not coppice once it is over a certain age. In other words chopping its head off kills the whole tree.
    My source for this info is Martin Crawford (Agroforestry Research Trust, UK).
    But as with all these things it's likely things won't be 100% reliable, again the age of the tree is significant. I have a couple of 1yr old specimens which were droughted and lost their tops, these have exhibited suckering-type regrowth (not mentioned in the books) and are doing fine. But again young trees are a different kettle altogether.

    BTW, what is the main objective for a tree that will not coppice?

    Cheers,
    Niels
     
  7. Douglas J.E. Barnes

    Douglas J.E. Barnes Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks entrailer.

    A number of trees will coppice only when young. But one generally starts a coppice after 7 years or so, if coppicing is the intent. Coppicing itself holds the tree in a juvenile state and, if not on short-rotation, can dramatically lengthen the life of the tree.

    As for your question of the objective for a non-coppicing tree, that depends on what the tree does. Some thoughts include food production, fodder, timber, fuel, erosion control, windbreak, nitrogen fixation, shade, living fence...

    Regarding my initial question, there are a good number of nitrogen fixers that either don't coppice or coppice very poorly.

    The list is coming. I'm at 200+ trees now, and the final list might get to around 500. Please stand by...
     
  8. Tamara

    Tamara Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    from my experience, most wattles don't coppice well. silver wattle for example. there are a few that do, so I'd look them up and then add all the rest.

    I use local wattles in my orchard to fix nitrogen and create habitat - especially some pricklies for the small birds.

    Native indigo (indigophera) fixes but i don't think it coppices.

    much love,
    T
     
  9. Douglas J.E. Barnes

    Douglas J.E. Barnes Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Tamara,

    I've been reading that, no personal experience. The wattles don't like out -30C weather. But we do have our coppiceable trees...

    List list continues. It looks like it might be around 500 trees at this point. My work is cut out for me.
     
  10. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    4,771
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What a strange, puzzling question

    What a strange, puzzling question

    I think you will find Australian She Oaks Casuarina spp. (I like to call them "singing trees") might fix nitrogen.

    One day I think we will find that nitrogen fixing is mainly done by "wee beasties" living in the soil in a symbiotic relationship with all plants. Some plants more than others.

    As for coppicing no one has ever bothered.
    It is not anything anyone does in Australia.
     
  11. Douglas J.E. Barnes

    Douglas J.E. Barnes Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Michaelangelica, you are quite correct. The "wee beasties" are bacteria or actinomycetes (a kind of bacteria that grows in hyphal thread like mycelium), depending on the nitrogen-fixing plant species.

    As for coppicing, you might want to give it a go. You can get lots of unique and useful products from coppicing. And coppicing greatly extends the life of the tree, assuming that you are not on a short-rotation coppice cycle.

    (insert coppicing Emoticon here).
     
  12. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    4,771
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I read recently a research article that suggested that if you added high nitrogenous chemicals to your soil you killed the wee beasties. Makes for great profits for chemical companies. 8)

    Coppicing in Australia, no way. I don't think the plants and/or environment are suitable, the climate too extreme. There are few times when burning of anything is possible (too wet or too dry). Why sit beside a pile of burning sticks for 48 hours when you can burn a million acres in a day with one cigarette but. :evil:
     
  13. Douglas J.E. Barnes

    Douglas J.E. Barnes Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You would be surprised at the number of salt-tolerant, arid and semi-arid region trees that coppice and are coppiced around the world for different purposes.

    Which reminds me, I should be working on the database...
     
  14. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It has been very common in Australia to do a single coppice on eucalyptus trees planted along a large property's driveway. The effect is to produce a series of trees with very similar appearance and form.
     
  15. anthonytroia1

    anthonytroia1 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hello Douglas
    my name is tony, I just registered to use this site primarily to contact you and ask how this n fixing coppice research has come. would love to talk.
    tony
     

Share This Page

-->