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Development and Evaluation of Succession Coppicing

Michael Culbertson

Coppicing has been practiced in England for centuries and was recently considered for biomass in Vermont and Maine (Metzger, 2017). Coppicing uses cutting to spur new sprouts and “promotes a bushy, hedge-like stand” (Id.). Traditional coppicing is therefore not part of natural forest succession because it regenerates in much shorter cycles without proceeding to a subsequent stage of mature forest. This project develops and evaluates a new form of coppicing designed to follow and take advantage of succession across a forest site.


Potential benefits: reduced cost, sustained forest quality over long periods, increased ecosystem stability with production, stabilized wildlife populations across the site, preservation of tax classification, application to conservation plans, supplemental production without delaying forest restoration, production from mature forest areas.

This may qualify for AFRP Sustainable Agricultural Systems Program support for “visionary applications that take a systems approach, and that significantly improve the supply of abundant, affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible food, while providing sustainable opportunities for expansion of the bioeconomy….” (National Agroforestry Center, 2018, p. 13).


Further information on design, implementation, and discussion available upon request.


Metzger, H., Irland, L. (2017). COPPICING COMES (BACK) OF AGE: An ancient forestry practice can help wildlife and tree growth. Connecticut Woodlands Magazine. 82(3). pp. 22-23.

National Agroforestry Center. (2018). Guide to USDA Agroforestry Research Funding Opportunities. United States Department of Agriculture.

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