Coppicing is an ancient method of growing trees which increases the amount of tree stems (and therefore wood) growing from a single stool, or trunk.
The tree trunk is cut back to within a few inches of its base in early spring, with the result that many shoots will then grow from this cut off trunk.
Coppicing is a method of woodland management which allows poles of wood to be harvested every 3-15 years depending on the desired diameter of the poles or stems. The wood can then be used for fencing, carpentry and fuel.
Sweet chestnut – Castanea sativa; Hazel – Corylus avellana and Beech – Fagus sylvatica – are three trees which have been managed as coppiced woodland for hundreds of years.
Coppicing can also be used decoratively in the garden; for example, on shrubs such as dogwood – Cornus; this is grown for its brightly coloured winter stems which are pruned back in March to encourage fresh, colourful growth for the following winter.