View Full Version : Grow your own fuel

02-May-07, 22:12
Has anybody tried growing willow or something similar to harvest their own fuel?

02-May-07, 23:02
No, but probably one of the best plants you can grow for fuel is Bamboo - surprisingly. It's quick growing and survives very well in the UK, even in northern climes apparently.

A friend of mine who has a degree in conservation mentioned that it is something of a pest if allowed to grow out of control because it dominates native species but if you harvest it then this won't be a problem.

03-May-07, 01:36
I am just curious, what do you mean by fuel? Are you talking firewood? How is Bamboo used for fuel, I wouldn't have thought it would have lasted long on a fire?

03-May-07, 11:30
Haven't tried it, but saw it last night on Grand Design!

03-May-07, 12:19
For info on willow growing / harvesting in the North see North Highland Forest Trust in Golspie or their website. They run free courses too.
Bamboo sounds interesting but I think that on a small scale the processing would be time consuming.

03-May-07, 13:02
It was to be used for firewood.

03-May-07, 14:33
Did a bit of Googling and came across a link re bamboo for fuel:


Apparently it is the fastest growing plant (technically a grass) on the planet and it makes an excellent fuel for burning because it is so porous that the charcoal gives out more heat than some other 'woods'.

It is also used also to make briquettes for burning but that would be beyond the scope of personal use.

I suppose that if you had a pile of bamboo for burning it would be a much bigger physical pile than say of a hardwood, but if it grows fast then that wouldn't be a problem.

(site about growing Bamboo in Northern UK (Manchester is in the north apparently, LOL))

A few hardy bamboo varieties


this web site is down so not sure if the company are still trading but maybe worth giving a bell:

Scottish Bamboo Nursery (http://www.thescottishbamboonursery.co.uk/)
Middlemuir Farm, Craigievar, Alford, Aberdeenshire, AB33 8JS; tel: (019755) 81316; fax: (019755) 81411. Some 87 species and varieties offered, all hardy in Scotland.

03-May-07, 21:40
thanks for that. I will have a look. I wonder if bamboo will grow on the coast?

03-May-07, 22:07
thanks for that. I will have a look. I wonder if bamboo will grow on the coast?
I was wondering the same thing myself! :)

03-May-07, 22:57
Bamboo would be fast growing in the right conditions, but don't expect it to grow fast in Caithness unless you have a really sheltered space to grow in.

07-May-07, 20:30
Thanks for all the really useful information. Gealbhan are you near the coast? If yes, have you had any problems with the wind and salty air?

26-Jun-07, 19:17
Bamboo grows fine in Caithness, we have some in the garden and its doing fine.