Glasgow Green Tree Surgeons

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Emergency Tree Removal – Tree Trimming & Pruning – Stump Grinding & Removal – Wood Chipping Service

Emergency Tree Removal – Tree Trimming & Pruning – Stump Grinding & Removal – Wood Chipping Service

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Tree Coppicing

Coppicing is a process used to make wood more suitable for human use. It involves cutting down the tree at ground level, usually every 4-10 years depending on the species and variety of wood needed. The cut stumps will then sprout new shoots which can be harvested as they are needed. This technique has many advantages, but some disadvantages should be considered before deciding whether or not to coppice your trees. In this guide, we will discuss what coppicing is, the benefits of coppicing, when it may not be advised to do so, and other questions frequently asked about this practice.

Benefits of Coppicing

Small-Wood Projects

It is possible to use your harvested shoots as small pieces of wood, such as wooden handles for tools and implements like spoons and knives.

Livestock Food

When you have animals, they will need some form of feed so that they can continue growing healthy and strong throughout their lives, but you can also turn the shoots into food for your livestock.


You may find that you need more wood than what is produced by coppicing. In this case, it would be advisable to chop and drop so that there will always be a supply of branches available on an ongoing basis.

Woven Fence Material

The smaller branches that sprout from the cut stump after it has been coppiced can be woven into a fencing material. This is a practice that was very common in the past because the barbed wire and other more modern forms of fencing were hard to find or too expensive for many people back then.

Lumber/Fence Posts

Coppiced trees are excellent choices for making lumber because they tend to grow straighter than other types of trees when given adequate sunlight and nutrients through pruning. The same goes for fence posts, which makes them very useful if you have animals who run free around your property since these wooden poles won’t rot as quickly due to their smaller size, which means less maintenance is required from you over time.


Coppicing is a good option if you want to avoid using chemical fertilizers in your garden or on the land surrounding it, because coppiced trees can be used for composting and mulching, which means they will break down naturally over time, providing nutrients back into the soil again with no need for added chemicals that might harm nearby plants.


The wood that is cut can be burned for fuel or used to cook food.

When Is Coppicing Not Advised?

There are a few cases where coppicing shouldn’t be done, for example, if you have trees or plants nearby which require sunlight to grow and thrive. Coppiced crops won’t produce anything at all if they can’t photosynthesize and grow. So, in a sense, they are “stealing” sunlight from other plants which need it-meaning if you coppice, don’t expect anything that’s planted nearby to thrive!

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Frequently Asked Questions

When should coppicing be done?

It can be done at any time of year, but usually is best left until winter, when branches and crops begin dying back naturally or follow signs of new growth on them. This helps ensure all the nutrients will return to the tree rather than being taken up by growing crops where they might not belong. If your trees/crops die during this process, let nature take its course as much as possible, because that way you’ll get better quality lumber.

What are the disadvantages of coppicing?

There aren’t many, except that it can take a few years for new shoots and branches to return after you’ve started cutting down on your rotation schedule. We recommend going back once every two or three years from there, so this is not typically an issue in most parts of Glasgow (especially since we have four-year rotations now).

Is coppicing good for trees?

Yes, from our experience, coppicing has been very beneficial to the health of our trees.

When should you stop coppicing?

If your trees are in danger of being damaged, don’t be afraid to take a break from the process or even cease it all together for a while if need be. Coppicing is about helping restore and sustain woodland ecosystems, but not at the expense of losing life-giving resources like foodstuffs or firewood! There’s no shame in taking breaks as needed because this allows different parts of the forest to grow back naturally before returning to coppice rotation again later on down the line. You’ll find that between three and seven years seems optimal for most forests when they’re first getting established, after an initial period where we might see two cuts per year instead. After that, one cut per year will be just fine, but you might see two or three cuts at the beginning and then four to six years between them if it’s a well-established forest.

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