Saturday, 23 February 2008

Silver Birch day

Well I'm back after my week of travelling for work, and today was the day we started into the patch of silver birch that's at the far end of the section we're coppicing.

The birch will all be used for firewood, and while some of it will probably be sold to the guy doing our oaks, we'll also keep some to use ourselves in the wood, and also in case anyone we know would like some of it in the autumn. All the logs are being striped to aid drying, and stacked on bearers.

Many of the birch are at least 50 feet (15 meters), and on the good ones we're getting four 10-foot logs out of them before getting to the branchy bit. Here's me stood next to them for scale:
We made pretty good progress, and everything went to plan apart from one which got hung up and we had to use the winch on. Still, that's only the second time that's happened during the coppicing so far. One of the reasons we're making faster progress is because we're only processing for firewood, so there's no need to preserve the bark, and I can therefore sned the trees rapidly using the chainsaw, while Tracy's collecting branches and burning what we aren't keeping.

Here's the progress we made:
And here's a video of one of the birches coming down:

We're going up for the whole day again tomorrow, and should be able to complete everything that's in the way of the oaks that will be thinned. That'll leave some bits still to do during March, but not a lot compared to what we've done so far!


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