Category Archives: coppice

Coppicing – and a surprise bug

We have been coppicing a new area of the copse, trying to get some sort of rotation going. The last three years efforts look good. A friend helped and we did about 10 stools, it doesn’t sound much but some were large. We now have plenty of small wood for the fire, and hazel rods if anyone wants them. We also tried laying one to see if it will root as there are some areas which could do with filling in.

Came across this Hawthorn Shield Bug on one hazel I was cutting down. It didn’t shift so it went carefully with the cut stem.

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Oh dear, oh deer

In the winter we coppiced a bay tree (Laurus nobilis), which had rather got out of hand. Some of the wood has been given to a woodworking friend to see if it will turn, it seems a fine grained wood, which smelled rather nice when being cut up. We’re not short of bay leaves for cooking with.

The coppicing has worked, photograph below, but possibly surprisingly the dear like it, even though the young shoots are very aromatic. Half has been heavily browsed, half has escaped. The culprit’s mug shot is below.

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Evergreen hazel – whatever next!

Starting coppicing yesterday I noticed that the bluebell leaves were quite well advanced. However I was even more surprised to see some hazel which has not lost their leaves over the winter. Whether they will drop after last night’s frost, and if so what that will do for development, I do not know.

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Hard work pays off

After coppicing during the last two winters we now have a succession of two small areas young hazel. They had to be protected from deer and rabbits, and are looking good. The deer have heavily browsed some of our garden plants; anemones, grape vine, sallow, and the fruit trees. Oh for some venison!

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Coppice management

Winter tasks, Spring signs

Working away at the coppicing. Last year’s was successful – having protected against the deer & rabbits, so another set this year. We should really do more to get a proper rotation, but doing all the protection is time consuming. Also we were damaging the tips of the bluebells pushing through.

The snowdrops in the wood are just peeking through.

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Clearing the brash

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2013/4 coppice

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This year coppice

 

 

Wind blown

The recent strong winds have brought down some dead wood, some of it quite large.  As can be seen in the photo of the fence under a large branch some clearing up and repairs will be necessary when we brave the wind and rain.  We are also just about to start coppicing and even have a “customer” for some of the coppice spars to make mink traps, it will be interesting to see the results.

Repairs necessary

Repairs necessary

Housekeeping tree shelters

Tucked away in a corner of the wood I found this hazel severely outgrowing its tree shelter. We take most tree shelters off before they get to this stage so I will be out with my Stanley knife soon.  My pet hate is the sight, common is new woodlands on the South Downs, of tree shelters left lying around as rubbish.  Countryside visitors often get blame for littering but some landowners cause far more with these long lasting plastic tree shelters.

Out grown tree shelter

Outgrown tree shelter

 

 

 

Coppicing success

Earlier in the year we reported on the hazel coppicing.  We protected some against the predations of rabbits with chicken wire and left others unprotected.  Perhaps because the coppice stools are close to the house all have done equally well.  One has grown vigorously and is over 1 metre tall, despite no protection. In the coming winter we shall do some more coppicing – should we try the same experiment?

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Coppice in the snow

Some coppicing has now been completed with protection necessary to keep the rabbits and deer away from the new shoots when they appear. The photo shows a typical stool, now in the snow, complete with wire mesh. We now have a supply of bean poles and pea sticks, some of which have been given away – still more available and have been offered via the local horticultural society.  The coppice has been cut at an angle, it’s normally cut level in public places.

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Winter work started

Winter work commenced with the first task of felling two more ash trees ready for next winter’s fuel for the woodburning stove.  This has been done, but they were fairly small so am trying to estimate if there will be enough wood.

Have started coppicing of hazel.  These stools were last done about 10 years ago so are well grown and have produced lots a straight rods – now what to do with them?  We will need to protect the coppice stools otherwise the rabbits and deer will browse them to death.  Very time consuming.

Photos later …