Sunday, 16 October 2011

This season's coppicing work

The last two years have been pretty intense during the period when we've been working in the wood, as we had a set area to fell for a grant, and it was a bit more work than we'd realised! Still, we got an awful lot of wood out of it, and are now well stocked so that we can burn 2-year old wood at home. This year's different, taking a much more relaxed approach. Our only target is to fell at least one year's worth of wood for home heating, which is probably about 12m3 of solid wood. So, there's time to clear up odds and ends that have been left over from the past couple of years, and we're also going to do some work in a nearby wood that belongs to Alex, a friend of mine.

I actually started by going back up to the top of Sweep Wood, where we were working almost exactly two years ago. The problem we had then was lots of Sycamore leaning over the neighbouring farm yard, which all needed roping to pull them back into the wood. This was a lot of work, so I've resolved to cut them every few years, so we never have the same problem again - this will also create a kind of shrub-like edge to the wood there, which will be good for wildlife.

So Sycamore which looked like this:


now looks like this:

The only problem I had was the chainsaw hitting a metal object embedded inside a coppice stool...

This left me with a chain to sharpen...

I've also done the same work to the regrowth on the tree that the electricity company felled about a year ago:


While doing this one I tried out the GoPro on the chainsaw:
DSC_9000 GoPro mounted on the chainsaw

Here's the result (which may make you dizzy!):

If you liked that, there's more to come soon from a helmet-mounted version!

Down at the bottom of the hill in Sweep Wood, there's another area where a bit of work needs doing to complete a link between the widened rides we created a couple of years ago and the recent coppicing. This involves felling the edge trees here:

and both sides of this bit:

The first afternoon I did I just dealt with one corner of it:

which may seem a bit slow, but I was also splitting most of the logs as well, so they could start seasoning:

I've left one birch standing at that corner to grow on a bit and ensure that there are seeds coming down for regeneration:

Last but not least, back near our camp we actually have a few samples of fruit on our trees! We only left a few blossoms on, as the trees are still small, but it's nice to see that pollination is definitely happening!



Anonymous said...

You really used a big chainsaw to cut brush?Lucky you didnt hit wires,have you tried loppers before?

Anonymous said...

Im not saying is bad but i would hate to hit something with the chainsaw...Bad feeling...

Mike Pepler said...

The GoPro camera makes it look bigger than it is, as it has a fish-eye lens. It's actually only a 13" bar - about as short as you can get.

Oh, and it IS bad to hit metal with the chainsaw, I was very annoyed! Not much I could have done about it though, as it was completely hidden until I hit it...