Have an acre of land behind a site we're about to start building on. Thinking of planting fast growing willow or some other fast growing tree for firewood, for use in the house. We can order it from UK e.g http://www.bowhayesfarm.co.uk.
Anyone know of availability in Ireland. Or not sure if it is a good idea, advice?
Sounds like a good idea. I'm assuming you are just talking about making logs out of it and burning these (versus taking thinnings and making wood chip?). If you are thinking wood chip, it won't be cost effective as harvesting costs will be higher for such a small area.
Bear in mind it won't be very efficient if its not dried out properly.
I would suggest contacting Teagasc and COFORD offices to get the best advice.
Assumed right. Thinking of just making logs out of it. Thanks for advice!
Willow and poplar have a high water content. while they grow quickly (depending on the site) it may be better to grow ash. The fuel return on an acre will be small over time. It may have more ecological value to plant a mixed woodland, (ash, hawthorn, sorbus, hazel, etc) and let it be. A windy path through this area will give you countless hours of enjoyment over the years, as well as providing a much needed habitat.
Using locally sourced seed for your plants if possible, or irish stock rather than importing.
If you want willow why not take cuttings from local willow plants, they root v easily. Willow is a very important source of early nectar
You will need to get somebody in the know to do a site suitability test. There is no point in planting willow on a site that is not appropriate for willow growth - for example: what is the soil type (drainage, acidity, nutrient content, etc.) and is it suitable for willow growth? Don't worry though, there is pleanty of advice out there! As already mentioned you should try Teagasc and maybe COFORD. Other useful contacts might be Crann, Coillte and the Society of Irish Foresters.
Assuming all is well, you could buy your plants closer to home:
ash is a great wood for burning but wouldnt be a great option for planting unless you are ok with waiting 30 years for decent thickness.
go ahead with the willow, its quick growing and a relatively hard wood.
willow will grow anywhere at all, you could buy them in any garden home at up to 8 years old or just as seeds but if you go out into the contry and throw a stone it will likely hit a willow, if you know what they look like you could get find of plant sized ones to dig up.
could also try alder and birch trees.
idealy once cut should store logs in a shed for 2 years to dry, using a high effecency stove for burning.
cant beat the turf though, talk to luke ming
bit slow with the advice there PG you are only 6 years too late
I have planted willow and it grows well down here but it is too nice to then cut down and burn! Taking cuttings and just sticking them in the damp ground will produce new plants. I have a lot of Alder which grows really fast and would probably have good woodburner sized logs within 10 years but worth trimming each year to produce good centre stems which I hope would grow quicker and easier to cut up. Coppicing Alder is the way I think as it sprouts really quickly from established roots. Not sure of the energy value against other woods so worth researching before you commit.
Another fast grower is Sycamore which is like a weed and will produce good logs but slower than Alder. Seems to self seed all over the place so can be pulled up and replanted if done in first year. By coppicing the large mature roots will produce fast new growth once cut. As said above you need to season for a year before use.
An acre may be a bit tight to get sufficient wood but anything is good renewable fuel source.
ya, just saw the date after posting
better late than never though, just put in a back boiler stove myself so i was searching for stuff.
i must plant a few acres to see what suits best in terms of quantity of wood/years
plan on a 10 year or so rotation myself
see, i revived this thread from the dead
i have a good few ash which my grandfather planted back in the 40s - should be ready for cutting anytime now.
alders give a lots of wood quick but its not great for fuel, birch is better but takes slightly londer to grow, lot quicker than ash though.
i have a decent pile of 2 or 3 year dried timber but will need a lot more to sustain for years, lets nope we dont get any other -10 degree winters, what a summer we have now though.
are you growing ash oldtree??
Wonder how long it takes to dry out willow chippings, it grows very fast & can be coppiced every 2 or 3 yrs? If it can be dried out in 2 yrs, this would make it a very viable crop for harvesting as fuel.
I've just started recently really. Poplar ((serious grower) from cuttings but took a few years to bulk up) in the ground 2011/12 along with some ash.
3 types of willow cuttings and more poplar cuttings ready for next winter. Also my own ash seedlings located and ready to go next winter.
Ongoing supply of mature ash and sycamore (now coppiced) and lapsed hazel.
Ash is the top totty wood as far as I am concerned.