Friday, July 14, 2006

Wood Pellet - Down by the Sally Gardens

Sally Trees and the Making of Wood Pellets

The Sally, Sallie or Willow tree (salix viminalis) makes a good Biomass crop grown especially to turn into fuel such as wood pellets. Sallies as a crop are not new to Ireland, historically they were grown in almost every parish in Ireland to provide baskets.

Ireland imports most of its fuel, including oil, coal, and timber products. We need to start growing our own NOW before it is too late, and we become dependent and at the mercy of world trends.

Sally biomass is harvested every three years, usually by contractors, and delivered straight to the nearest biomass fuel facility.

By growning our own biomass crops we will create thousands of jobs, improve the countryside and wild life, help the environment, and save the ecomomy billions over time.

The old turf powered electricity power stations in the Irish midlands could easily be re-tooled to burn sally biomass as a fuel. New power stations could of course be built also for this extremly clean burning fuel.

Why Sallies?

* Sallies are a good crop for farmers, once established take little tending.
* Willows are easily propagated from unrooted cuttings.
* High yields can be harvested in a few years.
* Willows vigorously resprout after each harvest.
* Sallies can be harvested six to seven times before replanting
* The amount of heat in a dry ton of willow is similar to other hardwoods.
* Willow cultivation uses fewer pesticides.
* Willow plantations will encourage wildlife and birds.
* Sallies enhance the landscape and can be visually stunning if wisely managed.
* Willow biomass products reduce the need for fossil fuels.

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