Nature Blog Network

coppiced lime

“Any hardwood tree that is simply cut to the ground rather than being uprooted will sprout again from the stump. So will trees that have been cut back by frost or broken by gales or eaten by grazing animals. There are dormant twig buds all the way up young trunks and shoots, which spring into active growth when the live wood above them vanishes. Hardwood trees have evolved with the capacity to regrow after they are damaged, and can seemingly do this on an almost indefinite basis. The form of tree that results is ubiquitous in both wild and managed landscapes: the roughly circular base, knobbly with scar tissue, the multiple shoots, sometimes seeming like independent trunks if the last cut happened a while ago, or emerging sideways from the stump (or ‘stool”) then curving back towards the vertical. Animals may gnaw away at this regrowth, but it takes a lot to kill a well rooted tree.’

(The Ash and The Beech, Richard Mabey p 68. Random House 2013)

coppiced lime 300