Author Topic: Design / trees suggestions for coppice/pollard trees on long driveway  (Read 1143 times)

Offline ID_Joker

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 514
  • Karma: 16
Design challenge: 

200yd driveway along the edge of the property.One side abuts neighbors.  Other side is the fence for my horse / cow pasture.  I am considering ways to get some trees in along the driveway/pasture fence.

goals in priority order:  (1) firewood (coppice/pollard), (2) livestock fodder; bonus points for food for people, bee nectar source, or nitrogen fixer

Constraints: 
- It's on the edge of horse/cow pasture, so nothing that can be poisonous to those animals (ie that rules out black locust, cherries, etc)
- This is along the driveway and I also periodically use tractors etc in the pasture, so I don't want anything with crazy huge thorns (ie that rules out honeylocust)
- Must be able to survive in dry zone 4 climate in relatively rocky well-drained soil
- Nothing that is going to make too big a mess on my or neighbors' cars (ie that rules out red mulberry) or that is going tp put up too many suckers/shoots in the driveway
- I don't want the design to be too wide as I don't want to lose much pasture -- so preferably a single row of trees

On the plus side, the wheel line in the pasture should provide good irrigation and a I have access to additional supplemental water as needed

What I'm thinking.....
There's not room outside the fence to plant trees without encroaching on the driveway.  So I'm thinking of a combination of a couple management practices:
(1) Just inside the fence line, plant a row of trees on about 15-20 foot intervals that I can eventually get to pollarding size.  Once they are large enough, I can take down the fence posts and use the pollarded trees to anchor the fence wires. 
(2) In between each of the pollard trees, plant one or two trees that will be coppiced.

Alternately, I could eliminate the pollard trees and just use coppicing.  I would need to put another fence on the inside (pasture side) to protect the coppice from the cows.  This approach would probably be more productive from a biomass perspective (coppicing instead of pollards) but would require more fencing and would also create a potential management challenge as i'd have to manage the ground cover between the coppiced trees.   --- maybe run chickens or ducks or geese in there to keep the veg down?

Current tree species under consideration:
--shagbark hickory - downside is that it's slow growing
--grey alder - fixes nitrogen and is one of the few alder species that seems like it does ok on drier sites
-- apple -- may not ever even get to fruit, so I'm thinking antonovka rootstock
-- european pear -- similar to apple

So the questions are:
-- what do you think of this plan?  do you have alternative suggestions?
-- are there management issues or type 1 errors that you anticipate that I may not have thought of?
-- what do you think of the tree species suggestions? other tree species that would work well in my climate as pollards or coppice?

Offline Cedar

  • ...just aDD water...
  • TSP Supreme Galactic Ant
  • ************
  • Posts: 28429
  • Karma: 1396
  • Dont wait for the storm to pass, dance in the rain
Re: Design / trees suggestions for coppice/pollard trees on long driveway
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 10:30:49 AM »
How tall you want it? How thick?

Cedar

Offline ID_Joker

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 514
  • Karma: 16
Re: Design / trees suggestions for coppice/pollard trees on long driveway
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 12:19:40 PM »
I'm not trying to have the trees be a livestock-proof hedge, so I don't need it to be too dense.  I basically want a single row of trees and spacing will be partially determined by what species are selected.

Since the plan is to pollard/coppice for firewood, I'm not too concerned about height.  I would probably pollard at 6-8 feet so they are out of reach of my cows. 

Of course, one alternative solution could be to forego the coppice/pollarding entirely and jsut go with fast-growing trees (like maybe hybrid poplar.)  The down side to that would be (1) I have to replant after each harvest and (2) I don't get the '.lined driveway' effect.  :)

Offline T Kehl

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 378
  • Karma: 19
Re: Design / trees suggestions for coppice/pollard trees on long driveway
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 10:32:57 AM »
Red Elm.  Also known as Slippery Elm. 

Fast growth.  Decent firewood.  Great fodder.  Additional benefit is the inner bark is a medicinal.

As long as it will grow in zone 4.  I'm more like 5-6.  No experience further North...