07 August 2007


chainsawI continue to be impressed by Mike's ability to turn his hand to new skills. Today was his first go at using the chainsaw that he bought last week. It's been fairly overcast, so not quite as hot as it has been of late. He started off by removing a dead bough from the Silver Birch in the front garden, then progressed to cutting down some of the dead Eastern Juniper (aka Red Cedar) trees in the barnyard (I'm assuming that they were killed by the cows that used to be housed there). He's made a good start on our wood supply for the winter. I love the colour of the freshly-cut red cedar logs - they look a bit like cartoon depictions of legs of ham.

The tree-climber member of the tree surgeon's team which will be cutting down the poplars came round earlier and they'll probably be bringing those down later in the week, so that will give us even more wood, although poplar doesn't burn particularly well, so it might be better to leave that for a while to season. My new bible, John Seymour's New Complete Self-sufficiency: The Classic Guide for Realists and Dreamers agrees with most other sources that ash is the best wood for burning. There's an ash coppice up by the pond, so we're well set up in that respect. According to John, if you cut the trees down at a diameter of nine inches, they'll regrow and be ready to cut down again in 12 years' time. Sounds ideal to me - then you don't feel like you're destroying something.Ash coppice

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