Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Couple of little trees

Nice simple job today, first up was repollarding this willow that has been steadily growing closer and closer to the power lines.

Forgot to get an after picture on this one today
This tree was probably pollarded about 10 - 15 years ago, so could maybe of done with being done a few years ago as it is starting to become slightly overstood. Once a tree like this has been pollarded it then needs to be done on a semi regular basis, as often the regrowth has a weaker attachment to the tree and is therefore more likely to break out and potentially cause damage to property and the tree itself.

Then we had this Cherry to reduce slightly as it was again starting to grow out towards the house and power lines

Only a slight reduction as it wasn't a huge hazard, but often its best to tackle these things before they get to big

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Orchard prune

Spent a morning last week (just before the serious snow) pruning this small orchard

Been coming here for 4 - 5 years now (big garden) and every year we take a bit more out of this orchard. Its always important to remember you can't expect instant results with fruit trees, if you cut them too hard one year you end up with twice as much growth the next.

When I first came here these trees were massively overgrown with dense cluttered canopies and all the fruit was way up high where there was no chance of getting to it.

Slowly getting there now though, almost got to the stage where I am happy with the structural growth of the trees and in future years if anything needs doing it will likely just be light trimming and thinning

View of the 'top' of the orchard, nothing going overly skyward

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Beech reduction

Had this Beech tree to reduce last week whilst freelance climbing for a local firm

Before photos

Another one that was quite tricky to get any good photos of.

I was pleased with the end result as beech trees can be quite hard to reduce, they often have quite a dense canopy resulting in a lack of substantial growing points to cut back too. Fortunately I was able to take a reasonable amount of growth off this one whilst keeping some good growing points, maintaining the trees natural shape and good health

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Big ash dismantle

Had a tricky tree to take down yesterday, definitely one that I would call 'proper tree work'
Big tree, big spread, small drop zone, lots of targets and to top it all off only a day to get it down in.


Quite an awkward tree to get any good photos of, as it was surrounded by other trees, couldn't get one that gave justice to how big this tree was.

There was definitely alot of wood to log up this morning when i went back to finish up, I don't think the customer will be buying any firewood for a while anyway!

Monday, 7 January 2013

A few dismantles

Had a lot to get done today, was one of those jobs I'd priced a while ago for a friend and had kind of forgotten how much there was to do! 
We had these 5 trees to remove, Chip the brash and stack the wood

With not a huge amount of space and a couple of phone lines thrown in for fun ended up being a fairly full on day with me barely touching terra firma and Alex doing half a marathon dragging everything to the chipper, doing well to keep up with the onslaught of brash!

Stumps are being dug out, so the trunks left high to give some leverage

Dont think anyone will miss these, they blocked the light in about 4 gardens.
It looks a mess at the moment but this whole area is going to be landscaped at some point so wont be like this for long.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Mini Charcoal Kiln

I hate having to buy charcoal, especially the stuff you get from the supermarkets. Which more often than not is unsustainable sourced, imported rubbish and you end up having to burn half a box of firelighters just to get it going, it then takes an age to get up to cooking temperature.

Now I've dabbled in charcoal burning before and I've also brought proper British charcoal, (made by a sooty smokey man living in the woods somewhere!) and the results are so much better. Its easy to light and you can cook on it in as little as 15 minutes.

My previous endeavours at making charcoal have revolved around the '45 gallon drum method' I had mixed results, but always ended up with 'some' charcoal. But it was never especially precise or consistent and I've always wanted something better. Not wanting to shell out huge sums of money I set to building my own mini kiln. Below is a picture of what I was aiming for


I started off with this old water tank that I had previously turned into a bbq (one that only ever incinerated your food!)


And ended up with this

Maybe not quite as pretty as the original, but it was £500 cheaper, in that all it cost me was some of my weekend. the picture doesn't quite show it but the green bit at the top is actually a lid that can be lifted off for loading/unloading.
hopefully I'll get a chance to see how well it works this week. If all goes well I'm planning on turning all my 'waste wood' into charcoal e.g. all the slab wood from the mill and all the stuff I have that isn't good enough to sell as proper fire wood.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


I took the opportunity last week to mill some of the timber that I got from the big Wellingtonia we removed before Christmas.

Been pretty bust lately and not really had any spare time to play with the mill, so it was nice having no work booked in for a week or so and actually set it up and spend a bit of time milling.

All quite nice stuff, be good for cladding, or a close board fence. doesn't have any real structual value but is very weather resistant.
Its nice having the kit on hand to move lumps like this, although this one is too big for the mill so will have to take a few slabs off with the chainsaw mill first