S39 Academy of Permaculture
1st March 2021

Willow coppice Wales

Willow must be the fastest growing tree in our temperate climate. It likes full sun and no competition and can establish itself rapidly. It also has the property that any young fresh part of the plant, if in contact with the ground will root and take hold, making it very easy to propagate. We planted these with Llanfyllin School students from the Land Based Studies GCSE class in 2019 and they are already up to 5m high. We had always planned to coppice them, and had taken advice and sourced quality material from our friends at The Willow Bank. With the correct spacing and planted in the right place then we an expect a significant yield from this every year.

By cutting them off at ground level like this we can expect them to grow back uniformly to 4-5m length by the autumn, making it a perfect crop for a biomass yield. The process, coppicing generates a genuinely sustainable wood yield and does not kill the plant itself, and it grows back readily, producing more shoots each year.

We also harvested a batch of basket willow, from stock we planted a few years ago on a previous project. There will be plenty more for interested parties.

Thanks to our team members and volunteers to turned up to help, we are extremely grateful to all.

You can visit this site, it is in Llanfyllin, Powys and is known as Cae Bodfach, it is the field   behind the Spar Shop/ public car park, between the shop  and the Cain river. There is a community heritage orchard, a herb garden with  living willow dome, a pump track, plenty of running around and dog walking space as well as the beautiful Cain river itself to see.

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