Renewable Energy by Coppicing Woodlands

I’m reading a book “The Age of Wood.” Review available soon. The author claims that coppicing woodlands in England produce about double the wood compared to planting new trees.

Typically 2 tons/acre per yr vs 1 ton. That’s because trees require time to grow a canopy. And height is inefficient requiring energy to pump water from the roots to the canopy. The implication is much more efficient conversion of sunlight into wood.

In coppicing, trees are cut to stumps, which are allowed to re-sprout. Hence, the tree uses existing roots and does not need to start over. Coppicing is a traditional European forestry system from centuries ago.

This implies a more efficient way to grow wood. Especially for wood chips or paper. That might make conversion of coal fired power plants to wood chips more feasible. And effectively you recycle carbon dioxide.

A search turns up several investigations.

SUNY appears to be the leading researcher: