Friday, November 5, 2010

"Coppice Agroforestry"

You can help this happen.

We humans must develop land management systems that provide diverse products to meet our needs while regenerating healthy ecosystems. Coppice agroforestry systems can do exactly this.

Many woody plants resprout from the stump or root suckers when cut to the ground--we call the regrowth "coppice", and the management system "coppicing". Many ancient cultures understood this plant behavior and managed coppice to produce their fuel, craft and building materials, livestock fodder, fencing, and much more. In North America, coppicing was a casualty of European emigration from a culture of resource conservation (by necessity) to one of widespread overexploitation and industrialization. We now must re-engage with these practices and develop them to a high art for our times and for our future.

Mark Krawczyk ( and and Dave Jacke ( have therefore decided to write "Coppice Agroforestry: Perennial Silviculture for the 21st Century." Coppice Agroforestry will serve as a detailed manual for foresters, farmers, craftspeople, and land managers describing the history, ecology, economics, design, and management of agroforestry systems based on the repeated harvest of small diameter wood products from resprouting tree stumps. Bridging ancient coppice traditions and cutting-edge agroecosystem design, Coppice Agroforestry will articulate a practical vision of forest management that integrates ecosystem health, economic viability, multi-generational tree crops, and diverse non-timber forest products. Our book will fill several critical gaps that so far have been unfilled in the literature on coppice woodlands - namely:

- How to apply this strategy to North American ecosystems and species;
- Effective design processes for multifunctional, productive landscapes;
- Details on coppice system establishment;
- Consolidated research from a scattered literature;
- Data on projected system yields;
- An in-depth discussion of coppice products and market potential.

As we strive for solutions to stabilize our communities, economies and ecologies, it’s vital that we come prepared with a diverse and well-stocked toolbox. Coppice woodland management can and will provide complementary solutions for a post-petroleum world. We feel eager to contribute to this expanding toolbox with Coppice Agroforestry.

While we have found publishers interested in this book, we have chosen to self-finance the manuscript production phase, and need help to do so. We have already begun work, with literature research, searches for case studies, and first drafts underway. We need money to support us while we work this winter and next spring. We need money to cover the costs of research (many of the resources we need to access are overseas and therefore expensive to acquire). We also need to travel to visit case study sites, interview practitioners and see their systems first-hand, and take photographs, measurements, and so on. While we seek $5,000 to get us going, we will gladly accept much more in support of this work. We'll focus first on using the money for travels to visit case study sites. We expect we will need about $18,000 to fully fund the writing of this book.

We look forward to hearing from you all, to developing this resource in support of our planet and people, and to sharing the results of our work with you in the future! Thanks very much!


  1. Coppice? Got something going out in Oregon, an hour south of Portland for about 30 years. I've started with Black Locust. You are welcome to write me to find out more if this is helpful. The woods are small.

  2. With 30 years experience we'd like to hear from you. Want to write something about it for the Permaculture Activist mag? Have there been other articles written about this which we could reprint? I'll check out your blog.