Saturday, 24 December 2011

Veteran oak reduction

I had quite an interesting job Thursday of this week, a large veteran oak tree worthy of note in an old town charter that had fallen into a bad way, with very extensive decay in the trunk and larger limbs.

I have previously mentioned in my blog how with ancient trees I am sometimes happy to leave them to do there thing and if they are going to fall over then so be it. But with this tree I was swayed the other way due to how interesting the trees is, especially the huge circumference of the base. And with it being completely hollow with only about 3 inches of sound wood all the way around, which far exceeds what a tree can tolerate with a full crown (usually about 70%) some remedial work was definitely needed to increase the trees chances of survival.

The tree had in fact been picked out by English heritage as a tree worth saving and preserving, and whilst the works may seem quite harsh, it will in the long run benefit the tree due to the reduced weight and sail area of the crown enabling it to withstand the storms we are frequently battered with! Also with the loss of some of the trees leaf area it will hopefully put on alot more new growth in response hopefully rejuvenating the tree and giving it a few more years.

I went slightly higher than the original specification for the job as I tried to balance the requirement of reducing the weight, with cutting to growing points and leaving the tree as 'natural' looking as possible. With a couple of years worth of new growth the works will not seem as obvious and the tree will begin to self optimise and reform a new crown without the excessive weight risking the stability of the base

I plan on coming back in the summer to take some photos when its in full leaf and if i can remember maybe some more a couple of years time to see how the tree progresses. 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Mobile sawmill

 I have been hunting around for a decent reasonably priced mobile sawmill for a while now and at the end of last week I found a gem, its second hand, but only a few years old with not much work under its belt. I took a gamble and brought it without going to see it as it was up in Newcastle and would have involved a 10 hour round trip, but I didn't need to worry as the machine is very tidy.

It came on Friday and unfortunately I had to work yesterday morning and then sort some firewood out so I only had a couple of hours to have a play with it, which isn't really long enough to get my head round the ins and outs.

I've got a bit of time over the next few weeks to mill some more and become a bit more proficient with the aim that I can eventually hire myself out to small woodland owners who want to add value to there timber without the added costs of haulage, as well as milling interesting pieces that I get from work. I'm also fairly sure my brother is almost more excited by the prospect than me!

Its not snowing, that's sawdust!

Like I said I didn't have that much time to play but I was able to knock out these sycamore boards fairly quickly and I think once I've had a bit more practise I should be able to cut timber at a fairly decent pace.