Willow Varietal Identification Guide

Teagasc variety guide

A publication has been published which for the first time brings together all the information about the currently available biomass willow (Salix spp) varieties for growing as short rotation coppice (SRC). The publication was written by Kevin Lindegaard of Crops for Energy Ltd and published by Teagasc and AFBI.

The guide provides yield results for each variety in UK and Irish trials and compares their performance to the industry standard Tora. Each variety is described in detail and information is provided on their morphology, their breeding pedigree and similarity to other varieties. An important part of the guide deals with matching each variety with suitable partners in a mixed clone plantation. This is crucially important as maximising the diversity of a plantation can help growers precent damaging outbreaks of rust disease (Melampsora spp) and leaf beetles (Phratora spp).

In addition, the guide collates recent research dealing with the fuel quality aspects of different varieties such as the dry matter content at harvest, the bulk density and calorific values. This information is highly significant. Varieties such as the UK bred Endeavour have a high dry matter content at harvest which means that it will dry quicker which is crucial where SRC willow chip is used for local heating projects. This variety also has a higher bulk density and calorific value than others meaning that wood chip will require less space to store, fewer vehicle movements to transport and a greater heat output during combustion.

SRC willow rodsThe publication can be downloaded from the following link.

Crops for Energy can help growers access these varieties and also offer turn key management options.

We also can help growers look at the logistics of installing a biomass boiler and maximise the benefits of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

For more information contact Kevin Lindegaard on 0844 2492901 or contact us