Monday 24 March 2008

Coppicing finished!

Well, pretty much finished. There still the hung up windblown birch (more on that later), but all the rest is done! :-)

We got to the wood a bit later than planned today, having stopped at a car boot sale en route to buy a new food blender - I blew the old one up (smoke came out of it...) last week making my own peanut butter... at least the one we got was only £5, and looks better than the old one.

The day started bright, and ended with glorious sunshine, but in between was this:
So we stopped and had lunch, huddled in out little shelter, and then carried on regardless, as it was our last day coppicing, and it soon brightened up.

The big job today was several large birch, one of which had a bit of a lean in completely the wrong direction, and was too big for me to even attempt to use the felling lever to push it the other way. So, we set the winch up to pull it in the direction we wanted it to go, and then I set about felling it using a split-level cut. The combination of the winch and the felling lever in the split level cut worked beautifully and the tree was soon down, although its size meant that it took a while to de-limb and cut up:
That left the birch that was windblown some years ago, and hung up in an old chestnut:
I decided I could tackle the smaller of the two birch stems, by making a normal felling cut in it, but completing it slowly until the tree began to move and slide down the chestnut, give me plenty of time to take a few steps back and watch (not that it did anything unpredictable anyway, but better safe than sorry):
So, here's a picture from yesterday:
and today:
and here's the hornbeam we so carefully left untouched:
and finally, a few from near the shelter, to see just how much we've done
For comparison, here's a similar photo from early Feb:

My parents are down from Thu-Sun this week, including the first meeting of SWOG (Small Woodland Owners' Group), which Tracy has spent weeks organising. We'll be sure to do an update on it...


No comments: