Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Dead Horse Chestnut

Had to remove a dead horse chestnut and a limb off of a sycamore a couple of weeks ago whilst freelance climbing for a local firm

The trees had been worked on previously by someone claiming to be a "tree surgeon" As you can see the horse chestnut (on the left) was pruned way to hard and unsurprisingly it promptly died.

Someones idea of a reduction
Limb removed from sycamore
The sycamore being the more hardy species fared slightly better, but we still thought it necessary to remove the large lower limb they had inexplicably left going over the road.
Horse chestnut on its way down



We quite often have jobs like this where we are tidying up someone elses handywork. Its a sad fact that there are alot of "qualified" people in this industry who don't know the first thing about whats best for the trees.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Giant Wellingtonia dismantle

Some photos from the first day removing a large dying Giant Wellingtonia. These were taken whilst I was freelancing for another firm.

The tree had one dying limb with a structurally unsound union braced with a rusty old chain. The other 2 limbs had a heavy lean towards the house and the whole trunk leaned slightly that way as well.

Its always a shame when a tree as spectacular as this has to be removed, but at the same time its not very often you get the opportunity to work on something this big so it is good fun!

Before pics^

We first removed all the branches from the 3 separate limbs


This kept most of the mess localised and the branches close to the chipper to make our lives a bit easier

Fortunately we were blessed with enough space to then fell the stem into an adjacent field, with a little added pulling power from a tractor
Just to give you a sense of scale!

I had a tractor trailer load of the best bits to mill. Unfortunately most of the lower trunk is only good for firewood, being riddled with cracks and rot. The main stem split in two as it hit the deck showing the extent of the weakness of the union between the two stems
More pictures to follow

In the woods

Had a good week last week, managed to dodge most of the rain, well mixed blessings really I had to spend a day fixing the truck, but it happened to be the wettest day of the week!

First up, we made a start on a small woodland thinning job that will be on going, as and when I've got time. Only 13 yrs old but has established really nicely. Basically just trying to free up some space in the canopy to allow some of the trees more light.

Also as its all fairly even aged we are going to open up a few patches for replanting to vary the structure and diversity of the wood, be good to get some understory and maybe some more hazel coppice in there.

Had a couple of other fairly unispiring days, but finished the week on a high with a gorgeous crisp sunny day and a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast, cooked in the most traditional of woodsman ways - on a spade, perfect.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Busy day

Couple of different jobs today,

First up a multi-stemmed Lime with 2 heavy limbs leaning out towards the customers workshop, these were removed and a slight reduction in height carried out on the remaining stems.


Trees with co-dominant stems like this are often more likely to loose large sections over the course of time. The cracks you can see between the limbs are where they have not properly joined together. In part due to the ascending nature of the trees growth, the limbs are pushing against each other as they increase in diameter year on year, forming included bark in the union and a potential weak point in the trees structure.

Ideally I would have liked to reduce more off of the left hand side of the tree, but the customer was very insistent they they remained as they were.

The next job was an overgrown hedge to knock back into shape

And finally an overgrown apple tree that needed a bit of attention

Having been a bit neglected this tree will need some more work doing to it over the next few years, as if you take too much off in one go you can over stress the tree resulting in more unwanted upward growth.

All in all not a bad days work.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Rustic chopping board and serving platter

Knocked these up out of some boards I'd milled and done nothing with

Sycamore chopping board, apparently sycamore is one of the best woods to use in chopping blocks as it actually has some natural antibacterial properties

This was a piece of cherry that wasn't really wide enough to use as a chopping board so left it a bit longer to use as a serving platter. I always think food looks better served this way!

Both were treated with a bees wax based finish, designed for use in salad bowls and butchers blocks

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Think I might need a bit of a roof for the chip box on my truck, does seem to over shoot a bit...

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Yew tree reduction

Nice reduction on a pair of Yew trees today, growing so close together that it was essentially one canopy




Pretty pleased with the results, made a huge difference to the garden. Its always going to be a big tree in a smallish garden, but its definitely less imposing now

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Chip box

Spent some time over the weekend working on the "greedy boards" for the side of the new truck
I tacked them in place on the truck to make sure they fit properly

Then fully seem welded them on the ground (saves covering the truck in sparks)

Then a quick sand down and a few coats of paint and the basic frame work is done
I've got some black checkerplate ordered to fill in the gaps, so hoping its going to look pretty smart when its all finished
I've built them light weight and with only one bolt to undo in order to remove them I can still utilise the side tip if need be (as it tips back and to both sides)
I decided to slope them down rather than squared off as it looks better and will stop me overloading it (well in theory anyway)
Although I primarily work with wood I'm always keen to learn new skills, Welding is something I've only been doing 6 months or so, but really enjoy. Although in some respects a fairly simple process there is still quite a steep learning curved to get nice looking solid welds and once you can stick one bit of metal to another there is no limit to the stuff you can make!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Autumn colours

Just a few photos of the autumn colours at Westonbirt Arboritum this weekend


Monday, 8 October 2012

New truck

Well, not so much new as its over 20 years old!

But its new to me
Got it last week, a 1989 110 defender with a tipping bed on the back

It needs some greedy boards adding to the back for wood chip, as well as a couple of other bits and bobs, but otherwise I'm pretty happy with it and looking forward to putting it to work.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Pine tree dismantle

Managed to dodge most of the rain and some of the wind to get this pine tree down this morning
Quite a heavy lean towards the other trees and some newly planted birch trees, so we dismantled most of the top section

Leaving the two large lowers branches that were over hanging the drive meant when we felled the remaining stem the brash ended up much closer to where we wanted it

The brash was to be stacked and the wood logged up, all left on site thankfully as this would have been alot of wood to shift!