Agustin, with all his safety gear, is trimming the branches around the base of our Lombardy Poplar windbreaks. It was too windy to cut down the trees last Thursday so we prepared the trees for a calm day. These have a normal life of about twenty years, then they can die and fall over. Ours are getting close to that, so I have decided to coppice them. This involves cutting them down to a 6” high stump. This spring about 10 to 20 new shoots will burst forth from each stump. We will select the best 3. They continue to provide us with a windbreak but in cutting them down we will have logs to saw into lumber, nice logs to inoculate with mushroom spawn, firewood, and brush to shred into mulch. In fact, we are saving the trees and getting rewarded with all the above benefits. In eight years, we will have nice 8” diameter trees to cut down again. This time they will all go to growing mushrooms.
This is truly a permaculture solution.
The trees in this row do need to come down, as they are shading our new strawberry planting. As many of you know, we have to have a great crop ready for the events that start in May. We have replaced all but one section of last year's strawberries. We are looking forward to seeing everyone in May. The events are on either a Saturday or a Sunday each weekend in May, weather permitting.