Saturday 9 February 2013

Cutting an overgrown Holly hedge, and making some new place mats

For the last few Saturdays we've been working where Sweep Wood borders a neighbour's garden. There are border trees there which probably used to be a hedge at some point in the past, but are very overgrown now. Our neighbour would like a view from their house across the wood, we need to cut the trees at some point anyway, and right now their garden is just empty soil as it's being redone. So we've taken the opportunity for fell some trees into the garden, rather than into the regrowing coppice from our work there in 2009/10.

Here's a pic from a week ago, when we'd cleared a gap and started to move brash back over the fence to make a dead hedge:


We've had lots of brash to cut up, as Holly always seems to be very bushy!
DSC_5552 Chainsawing

There's some fairly chunky stems in there:
DSC_5555 Chainsawing

And we're getting plenty of nice heavy logs out of them!
DSC_5561 logs!

At the end of last Saturday we'd created a view like this:
DSC_5566 View after coppicing

Today we went to carry on with the trees at the left...
DSC_5619 Chainsawing logs

Again, plenty of decent Holly logs in there, which will be great in a year or two for keeping the fire in overnight - Holly is very dense and so burns slowly.
DSC_5625 Chainsawing logs

If you were wondering why I'd felled the one above so high, it's because it had ancient barbed wire embedded in it, and I didn't want to blunt the chain on my chainsaw by hitting it!

There's now a decent gap in the overgrown hedge there:
DSC_5631 View after coppicing

Though at either end are a few trees we'd still like to deal with before Spring arrives:
DSC_5633 Trees to cut

DSC_5634 Trees to cut

Here's the pile of logs we have to move at some point - I already did one trailer load when it was snowing a few weeks ago.
DSC_5636 logs in the wood

One last thing - what do you think Tracy is carrying here?
DSC_5629 Moving produce

Answer - our new set of placemats!
DSC_5628 slice of Holly placemat

They're slices cut from a Holly tree that had some kind of fungal infection. We found this once before, in a Sycamore, and the mats we made are still in use at home. Just in the time it took to get home, the Holly had already changed colour, taking on a more greenish hue:
DSC_5642 slice of Holly placemat

Tomorrow we'll coat them with PVA glue to stop them drying too fast and splitting, and then store them in the shed for a year or so. Then they'll be ready to bring indoors and use!



Pete Etheridge said...

Hi Mike,

Firstly, love your blog!

I was just wondering whether you use straight PVA glue, or is there a secret ration of PVA glue:water?


Mike Pepler said...

Well last time we used some special end-seal compound we borrowed from a friend, so this is the first time we're using PVA. We'll be using it neat, not diluted. It'll be a while before we know how well it works!

After they've dried, we might try sanding them, but as the glue dries clear it may be fine as it is.