Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Willow biomass

We have planted 100 biomass willow sets on the Riseley Eco House Site. The biomass mix includes a range willows hybrids that are specifically suited to wood fuel and biomass production. The selection includes at least 4 of the following varieties - Bowles Hybrid, Chinese, Gigantea, Q83,"Late" Viminalis, Coles, DRH1, DRH2 and Germany. 

Growing willow hybrid setts /unrooted cuttings in short rotation coppice is the most effective and fastest way to grow your own wood fuel. Willow logs can be use in  wood burners or log boilers. Willow short rotation coppice is  already used in large scale wood fuel production for power stations, normally as wood chip. Automated domestic woodchip boilers are also becoming more popular.
Both  planting and harvesting the wood fuel crop is straight forward  and can be done without specialist equipment if done on a small domestic scale ( up to a few acres.)
Harvesting the wood fuel is done near ground level, easy  to  cut and access. The size of logs produced  between 3 to 5 years after initial cut back will vary from 2 to 5 inches in diameter, no need for splitting. You can vary the harvesting to suit your needs or the size of your wood burner.
By dividing your coppice into four sections and harvesting in rotation you will have a ready supply of logs, year after year.

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