Sunday, 6 March 2011

Busy week

Have had a very busy week, began working on a job that should last about 3 weeks or so, coppicing very overstood alder along the banks of a small river that runs not far from where I live. It is grant funded work for a local farmer, over 3 fields there are approximately 80 stools to coppice, including some quite large willow pollards.

Unfortunately the grant is not paying to coppice the whole area, it has limited the numbers, which is not an ideal situation as the coppiced stumps would respond much better given the light that would come from coppicing all of the trees. So to counter this I have tried to concentrate on particularly dense areas, opening them up to allow more light in, or going for the trees that look like they are going to be splitting out from the base at some point.

Our saving grace this week has been using a tractor mounted winch I recently purchased, to extract the trees from the river bank, sometimes up near vertical 3 to 4 metre high slopes. Without the winch this would have been impossible, we also used it to pull the trees in the direction that we wanted them to come, as quite frequently they were leaning out across the river.

To many people this will seem like drastic work, but these trees would have been coppiced on a rotation for generations, its only in the last 30 - 50 years that this has fallen out of practice. the stumps will grow back vigorously, providing a sustainable source of timber and actually prolonging the life of the tree as well as preventing erosion of the river bank. Its a shame there aren't more people making use of the grants available.

Not a bad place for a cup of tea

Have really enjoyed having a big job to get stuck into, as quite often with private tree work it is quite bitty, small garden trees, usually half/one day jobs. Although I'm not going back to finish off until next week as this week I am dead wooding a Go ape course in Sherwood forest, which is a pitty as I was just getting into a rhythm!

My office