Ancient ash coppice stool
Ancient ash coppice stool

I featured this ancient ash coppice stool in January.

It had been coppiced to regenerate new growth; a cycle of management that this tree may have been through perhaps a half a dozen times in its life.  It attracted my interest because on one of the freshly cut faces of the stump, a member of the public had written with a marker pen:

“This was one our best loved trees.  We are sad that you have cut it down” Read more …

I returned to the coppice stool last week, to search for the new growth that I had predicted so confidently in my defense of woodland management.

I was pleased, and secretly relieved, to discover its restoration to life: several tiny sprouts were emerging from the gnarled and hollow coppice stool.  See the photo below.  Let’s pray that the deer allow these shoots to grow.

Ancient ash coppice stool regenerates

Gabriel Hemery

Read more about the story of this ancient ash coppice stool


  1. This is really interesting. I too would have assumed that the tree had been cut down to no particular purpose, and would have been sad. I had no idea that mature trees were coppiced by being cut right back like this. Happy to learn!

    1. Author

      Hi Kate
      Actually it was not a mature tree as it had been cut before. Technically a forester would refer to it as ‘over-stood’ coppice. This means that it is a coppice stool that is normally harvested regularly by coppicing (perhaps 15-20 years for ash) but in this case had been left longer since its last cut.

      The social angle is interesting though isn’t it? For me, it is the presumption that woodland management is a bad thing or worse, seen as vandalism, rather than forestry being seen as something that is undertaken by a professional with the interests of the woodland at his or her heart.

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