Sunday 17 November 2013

More trees down

We managed to do some work on the orchard site today. We took down three small trees (2 elm and one hawthorn) and logged them into convenient lengths. The selection of these trees was to open up the access space. My wife discovered the joys of hawthorn thorns! 

The more often we see the road side hedge the greater the realisation how poorly the land has been maintained in the past few years. There are some large gaps and a lot of dead wood.

We're trying to create a stockpile of poles suitable for the uprights in the hedge laying process. Trunks which are too thick are cut into shorter lengths and stacked for seasoning as fire wood. I forgot some of the chainsaw lessons while tidying the branches and managed to cause the chain to jump off the chainsaw bar. I'll be doing some chainsaw servicing tonight. 

We've also ordered 220 metres of 16mm Polysteel rope and a manual 4 ton winch, these will be used in the process of directional felling of the trees close to the road. It is all part of the coppicing work. I'll be brushing up my rope skills such as eye spicing thimbles in at the ends of the ropes.

We performed some brush cutting to chop down some more of the jungle (grass, thistles, cow parsley etc., but kept the session short so the noise didn't disturb the neighbouring homes too much on a Sunday. The soil looks to be good quality alluvial loam which bodes well for the fruit trees of the orchard. We should also be able to plant some herbs between the trees as a crop.

This week we've seen an owl and pheasant on the land, plus all of the other usual small birds such as blackbirds, robins and blue tits. When we deal with the coppicing of the trees we'll keep an eye out for nesting places and preserve if possible or provide an alternative. 

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