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When travelling in Turkey some years ago, I noticed many trees (25-40cm diameter) that appeared to have been heavily pruned at a height of around 2m. Only just before leaving did I realise that this was a firewood production method where the long, almost cane-like, branches were being cut annually or semi-annually in a coppice-like fashion.

I recently located images from a blog article of a trip through central Turkey that contained images of trees of this form at:

Image 1:

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Image 2:

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Is this technique unique to Turkey or the Near-east, or it is practiced in other areas?

What is the reason for this approach in contrast to the lower level stumping of trees practiced since Neolithic times in Europe?

Can someone identify the species from the winter images provided?

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No it isn't unique to Turkey. Coppicing / pollarding were also common in the UK where it has been practiced since at least medieval times - and probably a lot earlier. Similarly, British coppicing was for firewood production, and also charcoal production. One of the links below talks about it being a source for animal fodder (young growth and leaves being readily digestible). I'm also hypothesizing that it was useful for wicker, but I haven't found any links supporting this.

In the UK, there's some overlap between coppice and pollards, but coppices are typically cut lower down nearer the ground, and pollarding is a branch up. The pictures at the following webpages illustrate this well:

Note that many of these photographs are from Germany and the Low Countries. I would imagine both techniques are common across Europe as traditions that have continued over the last 1000+ years.

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I have managed woodlands in UK for their historic and conservation values. Coppice is cut at ground level and soil often scraped against the stump to encourage development of roots from the pleachers (upright stems). Similar to layering. This means that the pleacher benefits from the original root system and also from the new root. The result is that the pleachers gradually grow away from the original stump over the centuries. The big threat to the new regrowth is animal browsing and the coupes were often surrounded by a bank, ditch and hedge or fence. Coppice was often grown with standards which were single stemmed trees such as Oak which were harvested when mature (100 + years) as against the coppice shrubs harvested on a 5 - 15 year cycle. Pollards were used when it was impossible to prevent stock from grazing around them. They are cut at a height that the stock could not browse them. The problem is that whilst coppice can last for thousands of years because they re-root at every harvest, pollard lasts only as long as the stem. Often used as Parkland decoration and cut for stock forage.

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