3 – Hybrid Poplar
3 – American Hazelnut
3 – Red Maple
Wholesale prices online for this would be around $100, retail potted around $450+
I’ve been working on a good trifecta package specifically for the purpose of providing fuelwood for a sustainable coppice forestry model system. But not only just fuelwood, this package needed to check some more boxes. I mean what would a Nick Ferguson tree pack be if it didn’t stack functions!? I wanted something that would be beautiful, provide good fuelwood sustainably for generations, AND it needed to also serve to feed those on the homestead. All three of these trees serve triple purpose as food for livestock and people, fuel to cook or heat with, and of course they make beautiful fall color if you want nothing more than something to add beauty to your property. This package is best grown in a massive range of zones 4-9. Conservation Grade bare root plants 1′-2′ tall
Fodder, Firewood, and Fall Color!
Hybrid Poplar – Populus x sp.
Grows like a weed and handles being coppiced and pollarded exceedingly well. Grows from Canada to the Gulf and coast to coast easily. We routinely get 12’+ growth each year. Get about 5-10 cords of fuel per year per acre with Hybrid Poplar. It may be a lighter wood than white oak at about half the BTUs but it grows WAY faster. So if you heat with 2-5 cords of oak per year, then you can be firewood independent with a single acre of coppiced Poplar. You can propagate these with simple first year growth cuttings almost any time of the year. Feed for any herbivore from the leaves, some animals aren’t fond of it, others love it. But no toxicity issues with even horses. And of course it makes a fantastic and cheap option for windbreaks as you just walk down the row shoving sticks in the ground to plant a free windbreak or snow fence. Essential homestead tool for the savvy preparedness minded individual. Bare root tree Conservation Grade 1′-2′.
American Hazelnut – Corylus americana
Starting with the fact this produces nuts while small are still useful, and it makes for some pretty fall color, the main utility I find with this tree is the ease with which you can harvest hot burning fuel wood. While we don’t have good thermal properties recorded for American Hazelnut since coppicing has gone by the wayside for the past couple hundred years with cheap oil and gas, we do have numbers for the European Hazelnut Corylus avellana at 23 MBTU per cord, which means the American version of hazelnut is probably in the same range. This puts the hypothetical range right under White Oak and Sugar Maple which are very hot burning at 24 MBTU. European hazel has been used for hundreds of years in coppice systems to produce fuelwood for small holdings because it’s faster growing than oak and easy to coppice with hand tools. If the day ever comes around that people are relying on what they can harvest themselves from their own land, a massive return to coppice forestry will put the wise homesteader years ahead of the pack. Get your fuelwood growing as soon as possible! Bare root tree Conservation Grade 1′-2′.
Red Maple – Acer rubrum
Here in Louisiana, we have almost nothing in the way of good fall color, but the faithful Red Maple never fails to deliver for us. Known nationwide for having beautiful colored fall foliage, what most don’t realize it produces maple syrup, albeit at half the rate of the Sugar Maple. But this means maple syrup is more in range than most people think. Added to that is all ruminants are unaffected by red maple toxicity. Be careful with wilted leaves and monogastric animals, but fresh leaves are fine in moderate quantities for even the more susceptible critters like horses and camelids. Red Maple at 18.1 MBTU per cord is above poplar and willow, and slightly lower than Cherry at 20 MBTU. This combined with it’s fast regrowth and enthusiastic regrowth from coppicing makes it an ideal candidate for coppice fuelwood. If you have ever considered adding something like a rocket mass heater to a greenhouse or shop, you will want fuelwood sized sticks rather than split rounds. Maple is a fantastic wood to burn in this type of system. Beautiful fall color, food for animals, maple syrup, AND free heating? What’s not to love? Bare root tree Conservation Grade 1′-2′.