Need suggestion on coppicing some trees

a_paul1October 6, 2013

Link to pics: http://postimg.org/gallery/6e9mthg4/

Hi,
My backyard faces a street and the previous owner planted some trees (7) near the fence for privacy (at least thats what I would like to think). However, the trees have now grown big. So neither do they provide any privacy because of no leaf cover near ground and nor do they allow sun on the deck and the house in winter. Seems like worst of both worlds.
I was thinking of removing them and planting bushes/hedge but I am wondering whether it would be good idea to coppice them. I don't know what tree are they and whether they can even be coppiced.
Can someone please help me here? I would appreciate any suggestion.
thank you,
Paul.

Here is a link that might be useful: tree and landscape

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esh_ga

Ornamental pears - just remove them and come up with a better solution.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 8:04PM
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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

Coppice = a thicket; copse, mott. If you cut them off without dapping them with a stump killer, depending on the roots onto which the scions are grafted, they may try to form a copse by coming up everywhere. I vote with esh - frippin' pears should be removed and another, better solution applied.

hortster

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 8:27PM
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florauk(8/9)

a_paul1 - if they are pears the others are right. But your idea of coppicing trees to make a hedge or barrier is a workable one with the right species.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 5:24AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the pix link is not working this morning ...

so i cant see the situation ...

but i am wondering.. if you think you will be saving some hard work.. by coming up with a solution.. other than removal ...

and if they are pear ... unknown pear.. thinking of flora's answer ... then you are basically avoiding ONE weekend of work ... to sign yourself up for two three weekends every summer ...

a suckering pear.. is a fairly aggressive plant .... and is not going to be conducive to your idea.. and most likely.. will start suckering in the lawn or garden beds.. 10 to 20 feet away.. ANYWHERE there is a live root ...

suck it up.. get rid of them ... and plant the right plant.. for the picture in your head ...

ken

ps: and i speak from experience ... i spent years.. trying to force things to do things i wanted.. trying to avoid the blindingly obvious.. only to lose that battle ... and in hindsight.. wonder why i wasted the time, labor and years ...... only to end up doing what i didnt want to do in the first place ....

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 7:32AM
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lucky_p

Not to mention that the suckers from that pear understock are likely to be wickedly thorny.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 3:18PM
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a_paul1

Thank you all for your suggestions. I am a little bit afraid of both the options now i.e. coppice or complete removal, as that may bring down the value of the house.

Because as of now, the do look beautiful... nice, even, round, and symmetrical :) Here is the picture again: http://postimg.org/image/unl909t0z/

They are practically useless though as explained before.

May be I should just trim them from the top as much as I can and plant some hedge in between that can still grow fair bit in the shadow of the trees?

Here is a link that might be useful: Trees

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 5:55PM
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a_paul1

lucky, I don't see any thorns on my trees. So I guess these are not callery pear.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 5:58PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Remove them. Coppicing is just another word for mutilation.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:02PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Didn't notice the link to the photos til just now. LOL

Those look like Bradford Pears in the pictures.

They probably never provided privacy, there's no sign there were ever branches near the ground since they've been planted there. Whatever the purpose, privacy was unlikely to be one of them (or the previous owner was an idiot).

Since they are Bradfords and they are not doing what you want, I'll upgrade my response to "remove with extreme prejudice" lol

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:06PM
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florauk(8/9)

'Coppicing is just another word for mutilation.' That is a highly personal opinion and ignores the importance of coppicing as an ancient and effective form of tree management. In some parts of the world it is, or has been, a vital technique for producing a usable crop of timber, fuel, fodder, food, foliage, etc. It is a way of harvesting trees more or less ad infinitum rather than felling mature specimens. There are woods in the UK which have been coppiced for a thousand years and continue to be healthy and productive with a uniquely adapted ecosystem of flora and fauna. We consider them a beautiful and sustainable feature of our landscape - not mutilated.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 5:17AM
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chickencoupe

I coppice poplar trees for waddle fencing and am able to manipulate the size and length of needed branches. Nowadays it seems everything has a purpose in my yard. Otherwise, I'd be laboriously trimming these "trash" trees without gain twice a year.

They do not look very appealing when they're growing, though.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 10:54AM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

@florauk: We're just gonna have to disagree on this one. I guess growing up in a land where trees are allowed to grow the way they intended to, its hard to see it as anything else.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 11:30AM
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florauk(8/9)

famartin - there are plenty of trees here which grow naturally. Coppicing is not an alternative to that. And it is practised in the US too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Coppicing in US

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 12:26PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Link doesn't work. Anyway, we're not going to sway one another.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 12:30PM
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florauk(8/9)

Never mind the swaying - but please don't persist in the idea that all our trees are 'mutilated'. We are a tiny country but we do have trees growing 'as nature intended'. Mutilation is not exclusive to the UK.

This is the other link again just in case you're curious to see coppicing in the US: http://www.coppiceagroforestry.com/

Here is a link that might be useful: Examples

This post was edited by florauk on Thu, Oct 17, 13 at 5:18

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 12:53PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

That's nice, but I still feel that its mutilation, here, there, and everywhere. Like I said, we aren't going to sway each other.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 2:52PM
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esh_ga

lucky, I don't see any thorns on my trees. So I guess these are not callery pear.

They are callery pear. What he means if that if you coppice them that it triggers the tree sometimes to send up sprouts that can be thorny.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 3:03PM
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mrtulin

Admittedly, I will not persuade you, either. However....coppicing the right tree at the right time the right way can produce "something" that works in the garden. (a short bushy shrub-like tree with big leaves)
not to be confused with topping ...the particular kind of mutilation practiced on tall things beneath power lines
Or pollarding, as in trees on some European boulevards. This my opinion only, but those are butt-ugly man-made trees. However, they are specific to particular geo-cultural environments and I bet they elicit some warm feelings when ex-pats see them after a long absence from the motherland.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 12:12AM
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a_paul1

I am confused now. Can they be coppiced or not at this age? 8 yrs.

If I completely remove them, I have to pay for removal + stump griding/extraction + for 7 new trees.

If I coppice them, I have to pay for 7 less trees. Also, I imagin the cost of coppicing would less than complete removal (because of no stump grinding and root extraction).

thank you.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 8:24AM
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esh_ga

Coppice them and you will have ugly winter trees forever and because they are TREES, they will have to be coppiced again and again, every single year (more money). Also, as lucky_p mentioned, they may respond by sending up root sprouts which you will have to deal with as well.

Bottom line, these trees are not meant for that treatment.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 9:17AM
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a_paul1

ok, got it. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 9:55AM
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florauk(8/9)

esh_ga - if they are coppiced a_paul1 will not end up with 'trees', ugly or not. Are you thinking of pollarding? Coppicing is cutting them right to the ground whence they throw up multiple shoots, if they are a good coppicing species. In the winter they will just look like a clump of stems or large shrub, not a tree.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 1:40PM
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esh_ga

You're right, florauk, I think I was confusing the two. But either way, it would be plenty of work each year to maintain it.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 5:58PM
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jimbobfeeny(5a IN)

Actually, coppicing can work in certain situations - Especially for using suckering/sprouting trees for a screen (Like sassafras, sweet birch, cherry, etc.). Actually doesn't look too bad! Coppicing is usually done on a 5 to 10 year interval.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 9:20PM
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mrtulin

I'd be judicious about taking cutting every branch way back at once. I did that to a smoke bush and it took a full year to even put out a branch again, two years to look like it was recovering. I thought I'd done it in.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 10:06PM
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jfacendola

Below is a link to a USDA website that lists characteristics of the Bradford Pear. Lists "No" under coppice potential. I don't know if that's because it just doesn't coppice and wont grow back, or because if you chop the grafted Bradford cultivar off the top you are left with the thorny wild type rootstock to re-sprout.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 9:45AM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

I'll guess the latter.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 12:00PM
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