Sunday 28 March 2021

Coppicing, snow and mushrooms

February brought a week of cold weather, giving us the first proper snow in the woods for a few years:

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With temperatures staying below zero for several days, the ground was rock hard and we took advantage of this to get a few loads of logs processed for customers and ourselves:

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Here's how cold it was - an icicle formed on the corner of the trailer, from road spray!

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It's nice to see the log store at home beginning to fill up again, ready for next winter.

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Alongside the snow we had some murky days in the woods, but the coppicing is now completed!


We were saved some work at the end because our neighbour wanted us not to coppice some border trees in order to retain a screen for privacy, so they paid a tree surgeon to pollard them instead:

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We were left with a pile of logs for firewood, and that was all we had to deal with! 

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On the final day coppicing I had a small stem do a 'barber chair' - this is why you don't lean round the back of a tree while felling it, even a small tree like this can give you a bit of smack, and a larger one can kill.

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By mid-March, Snowdrops were emerging at the top of the hill:

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And the Bluebells were steadily growing, we're looking forward to them flowering!

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The Wood Anemones were also starting to come out at this point, here's one of the first ones I spotted. There's more now, photos to follow in my next post...

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We did have a bit of time to relax with a hot drink too, but a fire was certainly necessary as it's been quite chilly most days!

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A different project I was working on was mushroom production. Here's some sections of oak branches soaking for 24 hours - interesting to note that green oak doesn't float!

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The logs were them drilled and mushroom spores inserted, with a plug of wax melted in on top of them. The logs are now down at the Community Garden in Rye, and we might start getting a harvest towards the end of the year...

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The mushroom logs came off an oak tree our friend Rich had felled. Here's a short video of him using his Land Rover to haul the butt of the tree into place for later sawmilling:

And finally, back at home our cockatiel Pete is keeping a careful eye on the outside world. Probably a good idea, the way things are at the moment!

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