Tuesday 12 December 2006

Tree Nursery


When I got back to England in November I planted 50 sweet chestnut seeds, one of which might be coming up already. There will be acorns to plant at xmas and plenty of self seeded small trees from around the farm to transplant to make another coppice area. This coppice will be for green woodworking and will supply fencing, bean poles and other bits of treen.

The other great thing about coppice is that it is a very dynamic environment for wildlife, which is maintained by the regular management of the trees. As usual the biggest pests will be the deer who much prefer tender young tree shoots to the abundant grass and herbs available to them.

Of course, we hope to do all this from first principles with a pole lathe, traditional tools and a flat cap. Paul fancies making furniture and hurdles, I'd love to be able to turn bowls but doubt I'll ever achieve the necessary skills.

Probably the biggest problem facing us is the lead time for these materials to become available. Between 7 and 12 years will have to elapse before the baby trees will be harvestable. We might be dead by then. If so, I hope someone will carry on where we left off, and enjoy the head start we've given them.

I haven't found many useful web resources for green wood working but the books of Mike Abbot are required reading.

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