Sunday 20 October 2013

First trees down

We're making slow progress on the site due to the poor weather. We are not being total wimps just because of some rain, but we are taking heed of the safety warnings of not using power tools such as the chainsaw in wet conditions. However we have used a bow saw to take down three small elm trees. We've left them as coppice stumps/stools. The trees were saplings really, with  only 10 cm diameter trunks but were growing out of the base of the wall. Potentially if left unchecked they'll damage the wall on that part of the field. Some of the branches had died. We'll check the regrowth on the stools next year and subsequent years to see if the elm is disease free.

The small branches will be chipped, but the thicker elm is hopeless as firewood. It would burn slowly and with a lot of smoke. We'll keep the trunks as long elm logs for use in the base of the wood piles. Elm wood has a good resistance to rotting. We'll pile more valuable wood on top for seasoning. 

While the elm trees were not part of the roadside hedge, the reduced foliage after their felling has exposed the rather poor state of that hedge. It emphasises the need to provide a secure fence as there is quite a steep drop into the field. The rolls of stock fencing have arrived and we hope to start work soon, but the first priority is the completion of the secure storage unit.

I've performing research into manual cable winch units for the logging work. When we take down trees close to the road and the river we'll need directional control to prevent the trees falling in the wrong direction. I've settled on a Tirfor winch with wire cable, now the problem is to source one inexpensively through rental or purchase.

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