Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
Interesting! Here in the PNW, Poplars (hybridized) are grown for wood pulp for paper mills--acres and acres of perfectly spaced trees that reach maturity in 7 years. My dad helped research this innovation in the late 70's/early 80's as the forests of the NW were slowly being tapped out and the environmental damage clear cutting was being recognized as true by even loggers. The paper industry was hit hard by cheap imports and technology, so the poplar plantations haven't taken off like they could have. I know that there are bio-mass energy plants here in WA that burn the waste from wood and paper mills.
Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!
Same up here in Canada. Every little unused 5 acre parcel has them on and the owners can claim farm taxes for the duration of the crop. As they mature we are all sneezing like crazy in the cotton season and have streaming eyes, thanks a lot! But the land is being used, and not paved.
Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique
I've heard about this. I live near a forestry centre which is doing variety trials on willow for use as boifuel. I think that using willow is much better than using corn for biofuel, and often the willow can grow well on soils which are too wet for corn, but it still mines carbon from the soil.
That is pretty interesting use of the plant. Way better then using corn, imo. Lower inputs cost.
My weeping willows are a great renewable resource - feed the sheep (they trim my willows very evenly to 4-5' from the ground and pick up every twig and leaf that comes off), some horses really like them too. This summer when we had a drought and fields needed rest from grazing, I gave horses armfuls of small branches/leaves to nibble on and play with. They seemed very appreciative and the trees do not seem to be any worse for the wear.
Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.