Trees for Timber, Fuel or Making Things
An extract from “The Little Book of Planting Trees” by Max Adams 2018.
“Few projects give more satisfaction than growing trees to use as fuel or to make things. From the simple cut hazel rod for a walking stick or garden support, to pines, oaks and beech for construction, furniture, carving and all types of timber for wood burners, cutting wood from trees that you have grown is immensely gratifying. And it’s never too late to start – in ten years you could be fuel self-sufficient from scratch.
Good trees for fuel include beech and oak, all fruit woods (which give off a divine aroma on an open fire), birch, sycamore and Scots pine. Fast-growing willow is now often planted as a commercial fuel crop. It is generally thought that to be completely self-sufficient in fuel wood for a family home you would need about 2.5 hectares (7 acres) of trees. An acre should produce a ton of new wood every year; cut each acres on a seven year cycle and you’ll be able to harvest 7 tonnes per year – for ever. But with modern lean-burn stoves about 4-5 tonnes should easily provide most of the heat for a home. I have often built wood stores for my own timber, doubling the satisfaction. There’s an old saying that wood warms you three times: once when you cut it, once when you stack it, and finally when you burn it. I can vouch for that.”
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