Garden Vocabulary: Coppice/Coppicing

Garden Vocabulary LogoGarden Vocabulary: Coppice/Coppicing

Coppicing isn’t as popular or known as it was in the distant past, although experienced woodland managers might use it to provide supplies for building wattle fencing or other garden/farm structure, especially for historical recreation projects.

If you have access to a woodland with trees that respond to coppicing, you might be able to create supplies for your own garden or home projects right on-site. I have linked more information below that should allow you to get started.

From Wikipedia...

Coppice stool.jpg
By NaturenetOwn work, CC BY 3.0, Link

Coppice stool2.JPG

Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management which takes advantage of the fact that many trees make new growth from the stump or roots if cut down. In a coppiced wood, which is called a copse, young tree stems are repeatedly cut down to near ground level. In subsequent growth years, many new shoots will emerge, and, after a number of years the coppiced tree, or stool, is ready to be harvested, and the cycle begins again. Pollarding is a similar process carried out at a higher level on the tree.

Many forestry practices worldwide involve cutting and regrowth, and coppicing has been of significance in many parts of lowland temperate Europe. The widespread and long-term practice of coppicing as a landscape-scale industry is something that remains of special importance in southern England. For this reason many of the English-language terms referenced in this article are particularly relevant to historic and contemporary practice in that area.

Typically a coppiced woodland is harvested in sections or coups[1] on a rotation. In this way, a crop is available each year somewhere in the woodland. Coppicing has the effect of providing a rich variety of habitats, as the woodland always has a range of different-aged coppice growing in it, which is beneficial for biodiversity. The cycle length depends upon the species cut, the local custom, and the use to which the product is put. Birch can be coppiced for faggots on a three- or four-year cycle, whereas oak can be coppiced over a fifty-year cycle for poles or firewood.

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Garden Vocabulary is inspired by

This Garden Vocabulary series seeks to introduce and explain to you — and in many cases, myself — words and terms associated with gardening. Please let me know if there are any terms you would like me to explore. You can leave your ideas in the comments section and we can learn together!

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Interesting Plant: Bush beardtongue (Keckiella breviflora)

Bush beardtongue (Keckiella breviflora)

Keckiella breviflora.jpg
By tomhilton – originally uploaded to Flickr as Keckiella 02, CC BY 2.0, Link

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Keckiella breviflora (formerly Penstemon breviflorus) is a species of flowering shrub in the plantain family known by the common name bush beardtongue.

It is native to many of the western Transverse Ranges, Inner California Coast Ranges and the Sierra Nevada in California, and its range extends just into Nevada.

Keckiella breviflora is a branching, bushy shrub with many thin stems, approaching a maximum height near two meters.

Its shiny green leaves are arranged oppositely on the branches, and each is one to four centimeters long, generally lance-shaped and finely serrated or smooth along the edges.

The shrub produces tall inflorescences which are loose, glandular spikes of flowers. Each flower is one to two centimeters wide with five pale pink or pinkish-streaked white lobes whose external surfaces have long, shiny hairs. The three lower lobes curl outward from the mouth and under, and the two upper lobes are joined into a lip that curves forward over the mouth. Within the mouth are long stamen filaments bearing anthers, and a flat, hairless, sterile stamen called a staminode  — Wikipedia

More information on Bush beardtongue (Keckiella breviflora:

Learn more about Bush beardtongue (Keckiella breviflora):
 
 
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Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas