I have been working in a 24 hectare ancient semi-natural woodland on the outskirts of Dorchester moving some smaller logs into a stack ready for next winters firewood. I had a good look at the sweet chestnut that we felled in November/December 2013 and we will still not be able to get it out for a couple of months (maybe May?) as the soil is still too wet and if extraction is attempted too early, it would ruin the bluebells and other flora there.
AT AG Tree Services, we like to think outside the box when it comes to what can be done with tree surgery and forestry produce. Logs are not only good for firewood, an alternative is to make a 'stumpery.
The logs are infected with specific fungi mycellium (normally edible varieties or those used for medicinal purposes such as shiitake, oyster and reishi mushrooms) which are sealed into the logs using bees wax to ensure that no other fungi or wood boring insects get in. It is wise to also seal the log ends for the same reason.
If done right, a crop will be ready in 5-10 months time. (See our photo gallery entry for 'Stumpery' to see an example of one we carried out in birch logs).
A recent National Forest Inventory Survey was carried at Becky Falls on Dartmoor. This is a stunning site and AG Tree Services are fortunate to have the great outdoors as their 'office'.
Visit http://www.beckyfalls.com/ for more details of this famous Devon waterfall.
AG Tree Services spent last Friday in North Dorset splitting willow, lime, ash and yew log rings for a large property in Manston, North Dorset.
We had spent many days at this property over the last few months taking down heavily storm damaged trees and had left the wood in approximately 8 inch rings.
On the day of splitting the logs, we hired a tracked dumper to move the logs to the splitter and managed to fill 3 good sized storage shed full of split logs. If we were to have attempted to move the logs and split them by hand I think we would have been there most of the week so another satisfied customer.
Its not all swinging around trees and looking at trees or woodlands for AG Tree Services. Sometimes we have to roll up our sleves and get stuck with an splitting maul. Thats all about to change as we await delivery of a 10 ton petrol log splitter which can be transported from site to site. That should ease the back aches and increase the log output by a huge amount.
I was invited to drive a 6 hour round trip to St Austell this week to carry out a pilot survey on behalf of the Forestry Commission. The survey entailed looking at all the trees in a 1km square and comparing the field data with that compiled as a desktop excercise from an aerial photo. It was 1 of only 5 surveys of its type taking place in England.
After achieving the top student award and a distintion pass this year in my FdSc Arboriculture degree, I needed a new challenge to keep my mind active (and current !) which is why I am now an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) and will be working towards achieving professional membership.
More details about the ICF can be found at http://www.charteredforesters.org/
Alan Goldstone of AG Tree Services carrying out an aerial inspection of a beech. The data collected during this inspection will be used to create a report which will be submitted along with an application to carry out work on a tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). Failure to get permission to carry out work on protected trees can lead to a fine of upto £20,000 for anyone destroying the tree (Both owner and person cutting the tree may be liable).
AG Tree Services have been extremely busy dealing with the storm damaged trees. There are some photos in the 'Photo Gallery' section to give you an taste of the type of work we have been dealing with.
Work on the restoration of 24 hectares of Dorset ancient woodland is progressing well. This woodland has not been managed since the 1960's and I have just submitted the last of this years felling licence applications so that thinning work can be carried out over the winter. I have also applied for £55,000 in grants under the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) to be paid for restoration work over the next 5 years, so this woodland stands an excelent chance of being restored to its full potential in terms of coppice craft material and timber production, combined with the creation and maintenance of the important habitats that this type of woodland supports.