Saturday 7 October 2017

Storm damage and the start of this season's coppicing

We've had some windy weather over the past week, and a branch fell from quite high in an oak tree, damaging another branch on the way down. Having removed the one that fell, the damaged one was still attached:


As I cut up the fallen one, it was obvious it hadn't been healthy, with the branch divided in two with a rotten bit in the middle. Hard to spot when it's high up a tree though...


The Tirfor winch got it down easily (there's a video of me using it on another branch here):

I found the oak was pretty easy to spilt using the method I learned from Norwegian Wood:

So before long I had a nice pile of wood stacked to season for future use:

I left the knotty bits for wildlife use, though I expect Tracy's class will appreciate them for their dens as well!

This season's coppicing is also underway now, here's a couple of views, each with a photo from early on, and after a few days' work.




One of the trees I've coppiced in this area is a Hornbeam, and I've cut it a short distance above the ground to see if I can get it to grow as a mini-pollard.

My goal is that it might end up looking like this one, growing a short distance away:

I've also been trying some layering, which basically creates a clone of a coppice stool to fill in gaps. You make a peg from a branch, like this:
2017-09-03 14.33.13

Then bend a stem of the coppice stool over to touch the ground - you usually need to slice part way through it near the base to enable this.
2017-09-03 14.36.31

You then scrape off the bark where it's touching the ground, and hammer the peg in to hold it in place, with a bit of soil over the top:
2017-09-03 14.38.30

The idea is that it will develop roots, and after a couple of years can be severed from the original coppice stool. Time will tell if it works in this case...


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