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Woodland Custodianship

Discussion in 'The Homestead' started by Broch, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    So then..... What plans do we have for the winter?

    I really must be brave this winter and thin out some more of my young (30 yr old) woodland. I've already started clearing out some of the ash that's badly affected by ash dieback. I need to thin out all the trees that are unlikely to grow into anything decent. This might sound a bit brutal but the planting is fairly dense and it hasn't been thinned much so it is getting very hard to walk through during the summer. I would also like to give room to the useful and productive plants, for example areas where I know I'll get a good crop hazelnuts.

    This will provide a decent amount of firewood and, hopefully, some fencing poles for protecting another area to be planted up.
     
  2. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Now that I've replaced the fencing and finally got the sheep out I can go back to plan A and coppice the hazel on the woodland edges and along the rides. That will take up most (if not all) of my time this autumn.

    I've found that infected ash will regrow from the stool when cut back. However, unless I need to thin, I'm leaving any infected trees to watch for any resistance (as advised by the RFS). One tree I have cut down several times and it has regrown with healthy shoots each time (it's now about 75mm diameter). The saplings grow like weeds here for the first couple of years then the majority of them succumb. I'm lucky in as much as the main wood (on a north facing slope) hasn't shown any signs yet and even in the smaller wood only the saplings have died back. However, I am aware that's only a time issue :(

    I am re-evaluating my management plan to decide what we will plant to replace the ash in the longer term. I am favouring a mix of birch and rowan initially with other species for longer term.
     
  3. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    Nice bit of kit and certainly less effort but no reason why you can’t run a Tirfor through a pulley (and add a length of cable/strapping) to get you away from where the tree is going to fall.
     
  4. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    Psyching myself up to have a go at laying a length of very unruly hedge around a patch of woodland.

    One neighbour wants it doing so her show ponies don’t get their manes tangled in vegetation - the other is a former national hedgelaying champion - so no pressure then! :)
     
  5. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    Do you have a linky to the RFS advice, I had a quick look but couldn't find anything specific. I'm currently working on the assumption trees with large amounts of symptoms are being removed as I've got to thin some out regardless. Trees without any sign of disease are being left.
     
  6. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    It'll grow back.;) Would your hedgelaying champion offer some useful advice?

    This brings me to another topic - brash. What do people do with a large amount of brash?

    I've tried making dead hedges (deer still find their way through) and I leave a lot in piles for habitat. But when thinning a fair number of trees it's piling up.
     
  7. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    The latest advice, including different strategies, is contained in the RFS October Quarterly Journal (vol 113 No 4) - I can't find it on their site.

    They now quote and support DEFRA's strategy found here https://assets.publishing.service.g...a/file/806872/ash-research-strategy-2019a.pdf
     
  8. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    The danger zone includes anything in line with the tensioned rope/cable; if anything breaks that's the line the material will fly back along. With a Tirfor you are always in line with the tensioned cable.
     
  9. Chalkflint

    Chalkflint Tenderfoot

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    Brash I scatter it around the woodland. I also make piles in various places. There is always a lot especially as I have mainly Beech trees which drop large amounts constantly. I have also made brash hedging with limited success but its mainly to mark areas rather than keep deer out.
    As the experts recommend 30% of the total amount of wood we have should be dead wood I try to keep as much lying around as possible but that is one hell of a lot of wood.
    I only have a few Ash and they have dieback. The advise was not to worry as they are quite young and not dangerous
    Chalkflint
     
  10. Sundowner

    Sundowner Full Member

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    Love this thread, hope you all keep it going. May just buy myself some woodland in the future
     
  11. Sundowner

    Sundowner Full Member

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    Anyone on here who has a woodland in Scotland and knows more about the re-hutting programme?
     
  12. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    True it is not just the tree you need to worry about and there are plenty of Utube vids usually involving Darwin award wannabe 4x4 drivers showing the forces released when tensioned cables or whatever they are attached to, let go.

    I have always relied on a combination of the shear pin in the Tirfor handle, pulleys, a winch blanket and tethers to mitigate the risks when using a Tirfor on the rare occasions when using it at anything remotely approaching max load.

    I will use your wise words if and when the Tirfor gets too much for my ageing limbs and I need to make a case to the finance director for an upgrade. TBH though, although it is probably a far more dangerous option, I really fancy one of these for my TE20! :)

     
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  13. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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  14. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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  15. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Maintaining a small woodland to ensure its long term future has to be the biggest contribution any individual can make to the environment :)

    It's also great fun and very rewarding.
     
  16. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    The fencing we put in earlier this year runs along a very old and degenerated hazel and hawthorn hedge. The senior member of the team that came (he's in his 70's) is also a hedge layer and when I suggested it was past doing anything with he said that was rubbish and that he could restore the hedge - it would take years and several repeat 'layerings' though :(
     
  17. Laurentius

    Laurentius Native

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    I have spent most of this year clearing back the constant overgrowth around the saplings. I have been busy lately clearing back more brambles for more planting. I have lost some of the trees I planted, but most have survived the year. It is fun whatever else anyone says, I have a number of trees overhanging the river that need to be cut back, and that is going to necessitate my wading in the river to do it. I have had no news about the lease yet, I shall have to keep pestering the Council over it. I am considering crossing the river and claiming a bit more land on the other side if I run out of space to plant.
     
  18. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Is that Imperialism or Expansionism? ;)
     
  19. Laurentius

    Laurentius Native

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    It could be an act of war as the river marks the boundary between two ancient parishes.
     
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  20. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    The hedgelaying neighbour would certainly provide advice but his days of practical hedgelaying are sadly behind him.

    I did a five day course down in Somerset where I am from earlier this year and am wondering whether to lay the hedge North Somerset rather than Welsh Borders style - I suspect in days gone by that could have been a capital offence!

    https://www.hedgelaying.org.uk/pg/info/styles.aspx

    The hedge in question is just a bit sparse and tall but should lay well enough if I get stuck into it!

    Part of the other boundary is an old hedge consisting of ancient gnarly hawthorns with 5 metre gaps between them. I’ve decided to leave them be and just replant the gaps with hawthorn, hazel, goat willow, dog rose and field maples which I will lay when they get big enough, leaving the older trees as standards.

    I either burn brash or stack it as a wildlife habitat - deer are not really a problem round here. I had a go at making charcoal from a line of youngish willow I culled to make way for a native hedge - useable results but more practice required!
     

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