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View Diary: Sunday Train: Unleashing the Political Power of Bio-Coal (128 comments)

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  •  Yes ... (1+ / 0-)
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    ... Asian/Sweet Chestnut hybrids exist, so they can be tested for the quality of their nut and if suitable, included in the mix.

    One thing to bear in mind is that while contour rows are more susceptible to all of the intrinsic problems of monoculture, mixed contour rows ~ say, Sycamore for high rotation and Hybrid Sweet Chestnut for annual fall cash crop production before the winter coppicing season ~ would be less susceptible to the risks of monoculture than uniform contour rows.

    Given the reality of climate change, the added robustness that a single fatal pest for one tree species cannot wipe out your entire perennial planting seems well worth reliance on mixed contour planting.

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    by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 01:22:30 PM PDT

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    •  Fast growing poplar? (1+ / 0-)
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      Some hybrid poplars grow extremely fast and are being used as timber sources. I don't know if they're suitable for coppicing. But even if not, they might be an acceptable component in the mix of species.

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      by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 03:26:14 PM PDT

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      •  Yes, poplar and willow coppice well ... (1+ / 0-)
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        ... and like Sycamore are short rotation coppice trees. Sweet Chesnut is rather an example of a longer rotation coppice tree crop, and wouldn't be in consideration if it weren't for chestnut's annual nut productivity. In most cases willow outperforms poplar, but of course that depends on soil, rainfall, pest burdens etc, and in some cases poplar would outperform.

        I actually wrote incorrectly above ~ you can indeed, mix short rotation coppice tree crops, and doing so can bring the expected benefits in reduced losses to pest damage. So it could indeed be a mix of Sycamore, Willow and Poplar in a contour row harvested every three or four years.

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        by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 04:33:01 PM PDT

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      •  Poplars Used For Bioremediation Of Polluted Soils (2+ / 0-)
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        BruceMcF, HeyMikey

        There's a substantial body of literature on this.  Keep in mind that trees can grow on degraded soils and they grow on soils that are too rocky to plow.  

        There are plenty of places around the country that are devoted to sheep and cattle because the pastures are studded with solid outcroppings of bedrock.

        Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

        by bernardpliers on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 08:02:27 PM PDT

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