Tending Trees for Product, Profit, and Woodland Ecology
Published by: New Society Publishers
Imprint: New Society Publishers
Cut and come again forestry – reviving the ancient practice of resprout silviculture to power local woodland-based economies.
Coppice Agroforestry is a richly illustrated, comprehensive guide to resprout silviculture – managing trees and shrubs by coppicing, pollarding, shredding, and pleaching – for a continuous supply of small diameter polewood for products from firewood to fine furniture.
Contextualizing resprout silviculture historically, ecologically, and economically, Coppice Agroforestry explores the potential of this ancient practice for modern times. Coverage includes:
- The cultural history of coppicing in Europe and North America
- Tree and shrub anatomy, biology, and woodland ecology
- A suite of woodland management systems
- Dozens of handcrafted wood products on a continuum of value, offering a wide range of business opportunities
- Case studies of diverse coppice-based enterprises
- Assessing existing forests for coppice potential
- Designing new resprout silviculture systems
- Tables highlighting diverse species for various uses
- A vision of a modern resprout silviculture renaissance.
A decade in the making, encyclopedic in scope, and written by the hand of a woodsman, Coppice Agroforestry is a deep dive into this ancient practice, blending it with modern science, systems thinking, and tools to land it firmly into the 21st century.
Whether you have a few trees or an entire forest, Coppice Agroforestry is the must-have practical guide for homesteaders, farmers, foresters, land managers, and educators who ally themselves with the remarkable resilience of woody plants.
Introduction: What Is Coppice?
What Is It?
Dissecting Our Definition
Why Is It Nonexistent Here?
Why Do It Today?
Home and Community Scale Energy Security
Local Livelihoods and a Culture of Craft
Preserving Native Forests
Leaving a Legacy
Purpose of This Book
PART 1: HISTORY, BIOLOGY, SYSTEMS, AND ECONOMY
Chapter 1: A Cultural History of Coppice Agroforestry
Coppice: An Essential Prehistoric Resource
The Landscapes of Prehistoric Europe and Early Evidence of Coppice
Resprouts in Pre-contact North America
Coppice in Europe: From Subsistence Resource to Market Commodity
Roman Legacies: Industrial-scale Copses and Sweet Chestnut
Medieval Woodlands: Composition, Patterns, and Protection
The Manorial System: Private Ownership and Wooded Commons
Coppice in the Emerging Market Economy
Charcoal for Industry Boosts Coppice Production
Shifting Products, Markets, and Management
The Near Extinction of Coppicing
The Rise of Modern Forestry
Coppice in Colonial and Industrial North America?
Revival? Coppicing for the 22nd Century
Recapitulation: Crafting Regenerative Resprout Silviculture
Chapter 2: The Anatomy and Physiology of Woody Plants
Woody Plant Organs and Tissues
Primary Organs: Crown, Trunk, and Roots
Woody Plant Forms: Overall Aboveground Architecture
Meristems: Tissues Capable of Division
Wood and Bark: Tissues of the Trunk
Tree Growth, Development, Life Span, and Decay
Generalized Growth Pattern: Nested Cones
Woody Plant Growth Habits: Above- and Belowground
Plant Growth Patterns
The Timing and Pattern of Seasonal Growth
Tree Health and Life Span: An Energetic Balancing Act
Sprouts and Resprouts
The Adaptive Utility of the Ability to Resprout
Anatomy and Physiology of Angiosperm Sprouting
Chapter 3: Ecology of Coppice Systems
The Economy of Forest Ecosystems
Natural Communities and Forest Cover Types
Effects of Coppice on Community Ecology and Biodiversity
Key Differences Between Coppice and High Forest
Forest Growth Stages
Forest Gap Formation
Effects of Disturbance on Ground Layer Populations
Growth Stages and Microclimate
Effects of Access Rides and Woodland Roadways
Coppice and Bird Species
Coppice and Small Mammal Populations
Coppice and Deer
Coppice and Invertebrates
Nutrient Dynamics in Coppice Woods
A Conservation Panacea?
Chapter 4: Woodland Management Systems
Resprout Silviculture Systems both Historic and Modern
Adding Trees to Fields
Other Types of Resprout Silviculture
Own-root Fruit Trees
Stump Culture or Coppiced Christmas Trees
Silvicultural Foundations of High Forest Management
High Forest Management Systems
Putting it All Together: Choosing the Right System for Your Landscape and Needs
Chapter 5: Coppice Economics and Products
The Value-added Continuum
Working Along the Value-added Continuum from Low to High
Woodchips: Biofuel, Soil-improving Mulches, Woodchip-Clay
Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms
Specialized Traditional Crafts
Building and Construction Materials
Modern Product Potential
Matching Production Systems to Regional Climate and Production Needs
Financial Assistance to Support Coppice Management
PART II: 21st CENTURY COPPICE: A MODERN INTEGRATION
Chapter 6: Listening to the Land: The Art of Ecological Design
A Synthesis of Strategies
The Silvicultural Standard: Forest Management Plans
Working with a Professional: The Role of Foresters
Goals and Management Objectives
Mapping Forest Stands
Yeomans' Scale of Permanence
Cant Size, Rotation Length, and Layout
The Circulatory System: Access and Extraction Routes
Water Sources and Supply
Fodder and Fence System Design
Basket Willow Systems
Managing for Wildlife
A Coppice Pattern Language: Design Details and Criteria
Designing Cultivated Ecologies: Multistoried, Multifunctional Guild Design
Temporal Design: Cant Establishment and Harvest Schedules
Putting Down the Pencil and Picking Up the Shovel
Chapter 7: Getting Started: Establishing Coppice on Your Land
Existing Stand Dynamics and Their Effects on Cant Development
Natural Regeneration: Restocking Forest Stands
Layout and Spacing
Planting a Hedgerow
Maintenance and Protection
Keeping Records Is Key
Chapter 8: Coppice Management and Harvest
First Harvest Cycle: Coppice Establishment
When to Cut
Where to Cut
When to Initiate Coppicing
Preparing a Tree for Pollarding
How and Where to Cut
Accessing and Harvesting Pollards
The Art of Hedgelaying
Tools and Felling Techniques
Specialized Pollarding Tools
Snedding or Limbing
Cross-cutting and Product Selection
Pest and Weed Control
Restoring Overstood Coppice
Appendix 1: Additional Resources
Appendix 2: Yield and Species-by-Use Tables
Species-by-Use Table Bibliography
About the Author
A Note About the Publisher
"Mark's magnum opus has finally landed and it is well worth the wait! Packed with historical background and detailed research, this has to be the most comprehensive text on coppice silviculture. Supported by Mark's practical knowledge and understanding of the importance of ecological design, he weaves the ancient knowledge of practical craft and coppice management into future sustainable land use systems. A wealth of appendices will appeal to those planning future forests and agroforestry systems, and above all he entices the reader to sharpen a billhook and begin to coppice."
— Ben Law, woodsman, eco-builder, and author, The Woodland Way and Woodland Craft
"Without a doubt the finest work on the history and the "how" and the "why" of coppice forestry, a widespread practice of the past that will no doubt play a crucial role in our future. Learn how we can harvest trees and still have forests, too!"
— Mark Shepard, coppice agroforester, author, Restoration Agriculture and Water for any Farm
"This classic book covers the ancient and much forgotten craft of coppicing. This essential sustainable skill not only must be revived but also expanded to suit new geographies and species and create more possibilities than ever before. Mark has written a book you should purchase for both your future security and that of your grandchildren."
— Geoff Lawton, permaculture consultant, designer, teacher, and speaker (permacultureconsultants.com)
"Coppicing is an essential component of climate-friendly agriculture and land management. Coppice Agroforestry is a comprehensive guide, based on science and practical experience, to a truly perennial system for producing diverse wood products. Krawczyk's book will be inspiring readers to coppice for decades to come."
— Eric Toensmeier, author, The Carbon Farming Solution, co-author, Edible Forest Gardens
"Rich in history, culture, botany, and practice, this remarkable work shows exceptional scholarship, dedication, and experience. Krawczyk, who has bridged the Atlantic world, is a worthy successor to Rackham, and just the interpreter of coppice North Americans need to create their own thriving backwoods industries. Ten years in the making, it could not be more timely. Buy it. Read it. Live it."
— Peter Bane, author, The Permaculture Handbook, executive director, Permaculture Institute of North America
"If you own forested land and want to manage it sustainably, this book is a must-read. It's teeming with useful information that will help build a sustainable future and help readers become more self-sufficient."
— Dan Chiras, author, The Chinese Greenhouse, The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy, and Power from the Sun
"A masterwork of research and practice by a tree craftsman whose life partnership with trees started young and never stopped. This manual is vast, practical, and astonishing in depth and relevance. It will likely be the go-to authority on utilizing trees in coppicing contexts for many decades to come. It is also a relevant resource for anyone in woody plant horticulture, agroforestry, and ecological restoration as a whole."
— Ben Falk, author, The Resilient Farm and Homestead
"A well-written and comprehensive body of work that celebrates a commonly referenced but often misunderstood facet of perennial polyculture farming. Krawczyk's subject mastery and the delight with which he shares it will surely advance the field of coppice silviculture, and inspire use of the techniques he commands and cherishes."
— Dr. John Munsell, professor and forest management extension specialist, Virginia Tech
"Krawczyk's writing is a pleasure to consume and the breadth of information is a testament to his lifetime of devotion to the topic. The abundance of pictures, diagrams, and charts helps any reader chart a course to successful coppicing and envision a future where resprout agriculture persists in landscapes everywhere."
— Steve Gabriel, farmer, author, Silvopasture, and co-author Farming the Woods