Monday, 26 March 2012

One very dead oak

This one wasn't a very nice climb, well not to start with any way.

A pretty big oak tree that had been struck with lightning some years ago and has all but died, with only a couple of bits of epicormic growth still surviving. The main branch work of the tree is dead and well into the process of rotting.

always feels much safer once the weights out of the top and theres no danger of the limbs breaking off

Situated next to someones driveway and horse livery it was only a matter of time till it started shedding big limbs and causing damage. 

Quite a tricky tree to dismantle as there were a few things to avoid underneath and the tree wasn't sound enough to lower any branches off, so I had to hold my nerve and bring it down in fairly small pieces, going out to the tips. I always have to work on the principle that once I've taken the equivalent weight of myself out I'm fairly safe! Its all a matter of judgement and I'd never climb it if I didn't think it was safe, but you can't be 100% sure with a dead tree.

We left the bulk of the stem standing as there is a chance it may grow as a pollard, if not then it will be perfect habitat for birds and insects as it rots away, being perfectly safe like this for years to come. 

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Hedge removal/replant and thinning

Had a nice job earlier on this week, and lovely weather to go with it.

First up a leylandi hedge to come out

As well as the stumps

To be replanted with a nice mixed native hedge of hazel, hawthorne, yew and holly

Then there was a small plantation/grove of trees to be thinned out 

We chipped the brash and logged the larger bits

Removing just under half the trees has really opened this area up and should allow the remaining trees to now thrive and take on a much nicer form. We also removed the sumps from here to make mowing the grass much easier 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Final coppicing job of the season

With spring now upon us I just about had time to fit in one last big coppicing job, lots more overstood Alder and big ugly hazels to do 

 Although the job was made much easier and quicker with a bigger 5 ton winch I've upgraded to, as well as an amazing timber beak my dad fabricated for me. This enabled us to pick up whole trees, carry them to the bonfire, sned them out then move the wood to the timber stack, reducing the amount of dragging we had to do and the amount of mess to tidy up. Its a really solid construction which is great as you don't have to be to timid with it as you do with a muck grab (what I normally have to use)

One of the big jobs of the week was a large dead oak tree. It had been standing dead for a long time, and as the field was going to be fenced it was best to take it down now.

Its always a shame to see a big tree go, but at the same time I do love an excuse to get the big 880 out and there's something very exilerating about knocking over a big tree 

 Having a big tractor on site to move the stuff is very usefull

 As is a big winch!

We had the full plethora of saws with us, especially handy as alot of the old coppice stumps are full of grit and dirt which blunts saws very quickly. So its good to be able to just grab another one and sharpen them all at the end of the day.  

All in all a good weeks work, hard long days but the weather was on our side and no breakages so I was more than pleased with how it went.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Saw milling and log tongs

Spent a good part of today milling some timber that has been sat on the mill since the beginning of January. Kind of frustrating having the mill sat there and no time to use it. But now the weather is warming up and the firewood has quitened down a fair bit I seem to have a bit more free time.

This was the dawn redwood I got from a job in my local town. Some I cut as flitches for coffee tables and the rest has been quarter sawn for use as timber on a picknick bench I plan on making.

Also today I got to try out my new tractor tongs I made for lifting logs with the hiab. I'd seen some advertised and really wanted some, but couldn't really justify the price tag that seemed to go with them. fortunately my dads got everything you'd need to make something like this and fed up with trying to lift logs with straps and chains I set about making a set.

A couple of evenings worth of work and I was pretty pleased with the result. they work really well and make moving big logs around so much easier and quicker.