Sunday 21 December 2008

Chestnut pruning

Sweet chestnut trees often grow quite branchy, and when you're after straight poles that isn't so helpful. Increasing the density of the coppice can improve straightness, as they all race up for the light, and we've done some planting. But we're trying an experiment with pruning as well.

Some of the stools we cut last winter are regrowing nice and straight:
Others are much more branchy, presumably due to genetic differences:
So, what we're trying is pruning the side branches off these stools to see if they grow straighter and taller as a result. As a control we've left some of the branchy ones un-pruned. We'll prune again next winter and see what happens - it'll be a few years before we really know!

Today we did our first delivery of wood fuel on foot!
We'd driven, but parked the car on the road up the hill from the wood, by a friend's house, and we dropped the logs in for them on the way back.

This week should be busy - we'll be in the wood every day except Thursday, when we're visiting Tracy's Mum and brother. We don't celebrate Christmas, so as far as we're concerned it's a good opportunity to get on with some coppicing and enjoy what looks like being a drier and warmer week than some days have been recently.


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