Thursday 16 October 2008

Coppice Harvesting course - Day 4

We started today with David demonstrating several different felling techniques. One of them was called the "Danish Pie", as David first saw it in Denmark and they referred to part of the cut as a "pie slice".... Anyway, it's basically a cross between a boring cut and a split-level cut, allowing you to simultaneously avoid the tree splitting and get a felling lever in before the final cut. It also looks really nice! The key is that you do a boring cut, and then bring the saw out backwards but leaving a corner intact, which you then undercut after putting in a felling lever. The video will probably make more sense:

We also looked at how to safely sever a root plate from a windblown tree. We could only find trees that had blown down years ago, so they were not "lively", but OK for a demo. It's simple really - you just do a step cut, with the final cut on top, allowing the root plate to fall back. In some circumstances you need to reverse it though, and if the root plate is going to fall forwards you obviously need to be further from it! Here's the one David did:
and me practising on one (they were both easy ones really)
The one David did also gave an opportunity to demo a winch in use. 2000kg slings were used to attach to the butt, as low as possible:
and the other end to a tree, higher up so that the winch is lifting the butt slightly from the ground to enable it to slide more easily:
Then out it comes...
The rest of the day we carried on working our strips, with David giving us extra tuition to improve our technique as we worked.

Tracy felled some larger trees today, using boring and split-level cuts - she's getting good! Here she is tidying up a stump:
My strip has almost joined with Paul's now, you can see the thin line of trees behind my fire:
Looking across from my strip into Tracy's gives you an idea of the area we're coppicing. We're pleased with the progress, especially as we spend a lot of time watching demos and learning, etc. Also, there are a lot of smaller stems which take a lot of time to process...
Tomorrow's the last day, using ropes to bring the trees alongside the ride back into the wood.


If you missed the other posts, Day 1 is here, Day 2 is here, Day 3 is here, and Day 5 is here.

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