The other day, I wrote a post about pruning. Following on from that, it is worthwhile mentioning that one other argument in favour of pruning is that you can make use of the material that is pruned around your home and garden.
In a recent article for Treehugger, I outlined some of the ways I use the branches which I prune from the trees in the garden.
We also use pruned branches for fires, and plan to use them when we run our home heating and hot water system with our Rayburn. Planning ahead for this purpose is of course important – so we have set some woody material aside to season it and to allow it to dry. Wood from our own garden cannot meet all of our needs. But wood from the neighbouring estate can be supplemented in this way.
Today, sitting in the garden for a while to enjoy the gorgeous warm weather, I also took note of some ash trees which self seed in several borders. We cannot really allow all these ash trees to grow, as there is not the space and they may damage walls etc… But we do allow them to grow for a couple of years before we chop then right back down to the ground. These volunteer trees are another very useful source of woody material in the garden.
So if you have self-seeding trees on your property – you could see this not as a problem but as an opportunity. Even when you cannot allow them to grow to any great size, they can be a useful natural resource for you to use in a range of different ways. This is not quite a full blown coppicing system. But even trees which pop up in inopportune places can be useful… even if just for some simple, natural crafting for your home.