coppicing

IDK HIS SIGN BUT SOMEONE COME BE HAPPY WITH ME AND TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS OKAY

THERE IS A CUTE BOY IN MY ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES CLASS AND USUALLY I CANT TALK TO HIM BECAUSE HE SITS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM AND IS RETAKING MY COURSE SO IS A YEAR OLDER SO LIKE I CANT FIND A WAY TO MAKE CONVERSATION

SO USUALLY WE JUST MAKE EYES FROM ACROSS THE ROOM LOL HE LITERALLY HAS TO TURN HIS HEAD 90 DEGREES TO LOOK AT ME AND I KNOW HE DOES IT TO LOOK AT ME BECAUSE (FOLLOW * FOR THE BACKGROUND INFO)

BUT TODAY

WE WENT ON A TRIP AND I MANAGED TO TALK TO HIM A LOT AND MAKE HIM LAUGH AS OUR CLASS WAS COPPICING TREES AND HE WAS DOING SO NEAR ME AND EVERYONE NEAR ME WAS LIKE MY FRIENDS SO I LIKE WAS JOKEY AND CONVERSING WITH EVERYONE AND YAY HE SMILED A LOT AT WHAT I SAID AND WE HAD A LITTLE CHIT CHAT AND TALKED ABOUT DOGS A LITTLE IN OUR GROUP

SO YEAH

NOW IDK IF I’LL EVER GET SUCH AN OPPORTUNITY AGAIN LIKE I JUST WANT HIS NUMBER AND TO SPEND TIME WITH HIM HE IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND HAS BEAUTIFUL OPINIONS

I SENSE A LOT OF CANCER AND GEMINI IN HIM IF ANYONE //WAS// WONDERING

* I WAS LATE INTO CLASS AND HAD TO SIT DIRECTLY OPPOSITE HIM BUT OUR SEATS ARE LIKE A U SHAPE SO WE WERE THE POINTS OF THE U, AND I HAD NOTICED HIM SINCE DAY ONE OF CLASS BECAUSE HE IS SO CUTE AND ONCE I SAT OPPOSITE HIM I COULD SEE HOW SUDDENLY HE NOTICED ME AND FROM THAT DAY EVEN THO I SIT BACK IN MY SEAT WHICH IS LIKE PARALLEL TO HIS SO LIKE THE BOTTOM OF THE U HE LOOKED TO ME MORE OFTEN WHEN HE NEVER DID BEFORE.

3

Plant of the Day

Thursday 12 January 2017

Salix alba var. vitellina ‘Yelverton’ (willow) is a deciduous tree, that is often grown as a coppiced shrub for the striking stem colour. These yellow-orange stems were shining in the winter sunshine by this lake. It is an easy to grow vigorous plant that will take a location with sun or partial shade. It can be grown with a trunk and pollarded to result in colourful crown.

Jill Raggett

The Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
     When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
     The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
     Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
     Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
     The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
     The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
     Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
     Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
     The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
     Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
     In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
     Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
     Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
     Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
     His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
     And I was unaware.

— Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928)

Cunning Celt's Ritual to Acknowledge the Land

Day 11 of shipping-the-gods’ Spell-a-day Challenge: write a spell based on your favourite poem.

“The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold -
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.”

Dorothea Mackellar

I live in what I think is the most beautiful part of the world, Australia, where in the space of a single day I can travel from crystal clear oceans and white sandy beaches, to lush rainforest, forested and misty mountains, golden grassed farmland, and into the red earth of the Outback. So much of the magic that we see and use is about taking power or using power for our own ends, but it is important to give back, to acknowledge where and what we come from. This is not a spell so much as a simple yet powerful ritual to acknowledge the land and to give back to it.

Ideally performed either at dawn, midday, sunset, or midnight, but can be performed at any time. Make sure you wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes made of natural fibres. This ritual may be performed solo, or by a group.

Sit upon the earth comfortably, and place your hands flat on the ground. Close your eyes and meditate for a while on the land, in what it has given you: your life, your home, your sustenance, your power.

Now, in a similar way you would to ground yourself, begin to raise and direct your energy into the earth. But this is no grounding; direct your energy to heal the land, to feed it, to thank it. You are not ridding yourself if excess energy or negative emotions, but are contributing to the well being of the land and honouring your connection to it. See the beauty and magnificence of the land in your mind’s eye, and feed your own power to it. Let your love of the land swell and flow through the energy you are directing, feel it flow through the earth beneath you like the roots of a giant tree.

Do not rush this, allow yourself a good amount of time to perform this ritual. Once you have completed it, return home and be sure to eat and drink something to ground yourself.

2

My Country

The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze …

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Dorothea Mackeller

4

Plants of the Day

Monday 15 February 2016

Still producing striking colours at the end of their winter display the bright bark of (from the top):

Deep red - Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ (Siberian dogwood),

Yellow to orange - Salix alba var. vitellina 'Britzensis’ (scarlet willow),

Yellow green - Cornus sericea 'Flaviramea’ (golden-twig dogwood),

Yellow through pinky-orange to red - Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire’ (dogwood).

Many of these will soon be cut down (stooled or coppiced) to encourage new growth for next winter’s display.

  Jill Raggett

In defining the Devil I have had recourse to say this: the Devil reveals a narrow path into a dark wood . Remember that. He is out in all weathers and seasons in his tatty blacks, but the form is not important. Neither is what kind of crown he sports, horn, thorns, flowers, hat or cap. Nor does it matter that at times he seems the Lord of the World, at others a more intimate, local spirit. It is what he shows us that counts.

This definition could be challenged in that the wood has been coppiced and then hacked back to a stand of a few spindled trees. But I will let the phrase stay, as he is this revealer, and the wood is waiting behind all our eyelids. Blink and you might miss him. Walk abroad and you might meet him. His presence is immanent, the path opens before you….

It is time that witchcraft paid the Devil his due. The apologists would have us believe that our only history has been that of misunderstood traditional healers and midwives, burned mercilessly by a fanatical and bigoted church and state.

The time for such apologies is over. The denial of the Devil is a convenient fiction for those who would trade their power for a seat at the table with the very people whom witchcraft has always been recourse against. Witchcraft was, is, and ever more shall be the heresy of heresies. It is without doubt that some of those tortured repeated what the inquisitors sought, but that does not preclude an appeal to the Devil by those who have been failed and abused under the shadow of the cross.

—  Apocalyptic Witchcraft: The Devil

Luisìn Malabrocca: la leggenda della Maglia Nera

“Se nelle corse si pedalasse a trentacinque all’ora, il Luisìn potrebbe andare avanti per quindici giorni filati; i suoi problemi sorgono quando si comincia a superare i quaranta; ha una resistenza formidabile: se inventassero una corsa di tremila chilometri, arriverebbe solo lui.” F. Coppi

C’era un tempo in cui nel ciclismo non si battagliava solo per i grandi traguardi, dalle Classiche del Nord alle vette alpine, alle corse a tappe, ma anche per qualcosa di meno glorioso. L’ultimo posto in classifica: la leggendaria Maglia Nera.

Intendiamoci, la maglia nera, fisicamente, non è mai esistita e nessuno l’ha mai indossata se non in qualche premiazione a fine Giro o in qualche circuito. La maglia nera fu il parto della fantasia popolare e di qualche giornalista, mirabilmente pubblicizzata alla radio nella trasmissione “Giringiro”.

Nel corso del tempo questo piazzamento ha perso una parte del suo fascino. E infatti, per conquistarlo, non si lotta più accanitamente come una volta. Già, perché tanti anni fa ne succedevano di tutti i colori, tanto che nascondigli in posti inimmaginabili, imboscate e veri e propri agguati erano quasi all’ordine del giorno. Tutto questo per conquistare, appunto, la maglia nera. [Marco Regazzoni]

L’unico atleta ad essersi aggiudicato quella disonorevole (almeno apparentemente) casacca per ben due edizioni della corsa rosa è stato Luigi Malabrocca.

Malabrocca era nato il 22 giugno 1920 a Tortona ma, ancora bambino, si era trasferito con la famiglia a Garlasco. Si era diplomato perito meccanico all’Istituto tecnico di Vigevano e, nel frattempo, aveva cominciato a correre nelle categorie minori con discreti risultati. Un giorno, alla partenza di una gara per dilettanti nei pressi di Alessandria, notò un ragazzo alto, magro, con le ossa che spuntavano da tutte le parti. “Se quello spirlunga lì riesce a vincere una corsa – pensò – io posso vincere il Giro d’Italia”. Quello “spirlunga” era Fausto Coppi.
La guerra lo tenne lontano dalle corse per parecchio tempo. Combatté in Africa. Fu rimpatriato perché erano morti in guerra altri due fratelli. Alla fine del ’45 tornò alle corse, ma la sua vera storia sportiva iniziò nel 1946, quando passò professionista ingaggiato dalla Welter.

A quell’epoca a Malabrocca, comunemente chiamato Luisìn venne affibbiato un altro soprannome: “il cinese” per via di quel suo viso orientaleggiante.
Il cambiamento radicale della vita del Luisìn avvenne al Giro d’Italia del 1946. La “Gazzetta” era riuscita, tra le mille difficoltà dell’immediato dopoguerra, a mettere in piedi il Giro d’Italia, il primo dopo quello vinto da Coppi nel ’40. Per raggiungere un adeguato numero di partecipanti, oltre a sette squadre di industria, vennero iscritte sei squadre, i cosiddetti “gruppi”, formati appositamente per il Giro; in tali gruppi vennero inseriti corridori non accasati e corridori accasati ma in soprannumero. Fu così che il Luisìn, in soprannumero alla Welter, venne intruppato nel “Milan-Gazzetta”, i cui componenti indossavano una incredibile maglia in parte rosa e in parte rossonera.
L’idea di correre per conquistare l’ultimo posto balenò nella mente sveglia di Malabrocca in occasione di un traguardo volante in cui gli organizzatori, oltre a premiare i primi, avevano messo in palio un vestito per l’ultimo. Il Luisìn pensò che un vestito, con i tempi che correvano, non era proprio da disprezzare e si portò in coda al gruppo ma, proprio sulla linea bianca, il suo amicone Mario Fazio, un bizzarro siciliano in forza alla Viscontea, frenò bruscamente e gli soffiò il vestito. Fu la molla che fece scattare nel cervello del “cinese” l’idea balzana di correre per l’ultimo posto. Fu una specie di ripicca nei confronti di Fazio ma venne anche ben ponderata. Il cognome era adattissimo al ruolo: Mala – brocca, che unione meravigliosa di vocaboli negativi! Nel nome il destino. E poi, con Bartali e Coppi in lotta tra loro per la vittoria, alla gente cosa poteva importare chi fosse il terzo, il quindicesimo o il trentatreesimo nella classifica generale? Era molto più facile e spontaneo che un lettore della “Gazzetta” andasse a vedere chi era l’ultimo in classifica e con quale distacco. Chi era quel “broccaccio”? Malabrocca, appunto!
Cominciò allora una lotta senza esclusione di colpi per arrivare ultimo. La battaglia con i vari Fazio, Zanazzi, Casola avvenne con finte forature, finti incidenti meccanici, finte fughe per potere, una volta preso un certo vantaggio, nascondersi da qualche parte, all’insaputa degli avversari. Fu una specie di gioco a rimpiattino sempre, però, attenti a non finire fuori tempo massimo, un rischio calcolato. Alla fine, il sette luglio all’Arena di Milano, Malabrocca aveva sbaragliato il campo e “straperso” il Giro d’Italia: quarantesimo e ultimo. Era nato il mito della maglia nera.
Il nome di Malabrocca era sulla bocca di tutti. La gente gli voleva bene quasi come a Coppi e a Bartali. Il Luisìn ne ebbe anche dei benefici economici perché veniva invitato a moltissimi circuiti ad ingaggio. Era diventato popolarissimo.
L’anno dopo, nel 1947, la Welter non poté esimersi dallo schierarlo tra i sette corridori al via del Giro e, forte dell’esperienza maturata, studiò nuovi stratagemmi e dominò il campo: cinquantesimo e ultimissimo. In molte località attraversate dalla corsa, venivano organizzati traguardi volanti con premi di vario genere per i primi e un premio speciale per l’ultimo. Il nostro campionissimo alla rovescia fece razzia. Si raccontava che, a fine giro, avesse guadagnato più del suo compagno di squadra Giulio Bresci, terzo dietro Coppi e Bartali.
Le imprese di Malabrocca vennero raccontate nei programmi radiofonici e in articoli di giornalisti e scrittori come Orio Vergani e Dino Buzzati.
Nel 1948 si accasò alla Edelweiss che, però, non partecipò al Giro d’Italia. La lotta per la maglia nera senza il “cinese” era un’altra cosa e passò del tutto inosservata. Tornò al Giro nel 1949 con la maglia della Stucchi, capitanata dallo svizzero Fritz Schaer. Schaer era stato ingaggiato per “fare classifica” perciò il Luisìn avrebbe dovuto fare il gregario vero, altro che giocare alla maglia nera! Fece buon viso a cattiva sorte perché, in fin dei conti, lo stipendio era abbastanza buono.

Mentre il nostro campione faceva il gregario per Schaer, un altro personaggio uscì prepotentemente alla ribalta indossando l’invisibile maglia nera: Sante Carollo. Carollo, un vicentino rosso di capelli e di maglia (quella della Wilier Triestina) era di quattro anni più giovane di Malabrocca e non avrebbe dovuto partecipare al Giro. Fu schierato all’ultimo momento a causa di una indisposizione di Fiorenzo Magni. Non era assolutamente preparato, il rosso vicentino, e così divenne maglia nera senza volerlo, anzi, non ci teneva proprio ad essere l’ultimo della classifica. Poi, valutata la situazione e la possibilità di qualche “sgheo” extra, si calò decisamente nel nuovo personaggio mentre Malabrocca faceva il gregario di Schaer. L’opinione pubblica si divise in “Carolliani” e “Malabrocchiani”. Questi ultimi erano delusi perché il loro idolo non “era in forma”.
Quando alla Stucchi si resero conto che Schaer non sarebbe arrivato nemmeno nei primi venti, diedero via libera a Malabrocca. Il Luisìn ci si mise con ostinazione anche se lo svantaggio di Carollo andava misurato ad ore. Ricuperò, anzi perse, parecchio ma, alla partenza dell’ultima tappa, Carollo aveva ancora un ritardo di circa due ore. Ci voleva un colpo da maestro. Il rosso vicentino marcava stretto Malabrocca che rimase tranquillo fino a pochi chilometri dal traguardo finale posto all’Autodromo di Monza. In prossimità di un traguardo a premio il Luisìn scattò come una furia.
Ma dove vai? – chiese Carollo – Sei matto?
Vado a guadagnare la pagnotta davanti, tanto quella dietro te la sei già guadagnata tu”.
Vinto il traguardo, sterzò bruscamente in un cortile e trovò ospitalità in casa di una famiglia. Lo invitarono a bere, a mangiare qualcosa, parlarono di pesca, del più e del meno. Arrivò sul traguardo dell’autodromo di Monza con circa due ore e mezza di ritardo: la maglia nera era sua per la terza volta? Macché. I cronometristi, stanchi di aspettare, se ne erano andati dopo avere classificato tutti a pari merito. Fu il trionfo di Sante Carollo che il Luisìn ha sempre contestato.

Sulle imprese di Malabrocca ne sono state raccontate tantissime e risulta difficile distinguere realtà da fantasia. Mi piace comunque raccontarne una: Giro d’Italia del 1949; si attraversa la campagna veneta, il Luisìn nota, davanti a un casolare, una grande vasca in muratura con tanto di coperchio di lamiera, sufficientemente grande da contenere sia lui sia la bici; vi si nasconde dentro chiudendo il coperchio per lasciare sfilare tutto il gruppo e il “nemico” Carollo; ad un certo punto si alza il coperchio e appare la faccia del proprietario; “Cossa féto? (Cosa fai?)”; “Il Giro d’Italia”; “Dentro la me vasca?
Se le grandi imprese della maglia nera terminarono di fatto col Giro del 1949, alcune definizioni, alcuni modi di dire sono rimasti anche dopo quasi sessant’anni: “L’Italia è la maglia nera d’Europa nel campo del ….”; “Quest’anno la maglia nera delle spiagge italiane spetta a ….”; “Il Tale è veramente una persona in gamba, non è mica un ‘malabrocca’ qualsiasi”.
Ma come era in realtà Luigi Malabrocca? Era una persona intelligente e furba che le studiava tutte per sbarcare il lunario in tempi dove non era facile portare a casa qualcosa di più della semplice pagnotta. Come corridore non era niente male. A parte le sue affermazioni nel ciclocross, si difendeva bene anche su strada per le sue doti di fondo e per un non disprezzabile spunto in volata. Quindici sono state le sue vittorie su strada, tra cui molti circuiti ma anche una Coppa Agostoni e una Parigi-St.Valery nel 1948, oltre alla lunghissima Parigi-Nantes del 1947. Nel 1949 si aggiudicò il Giro di Croazia e Slovenia a tappe, durante il quale, nelle ore di pausa andava a fare il muratore o l’imbianchino per arrotondare i guadagni. [Gianni Bertoli]

5

Plant of the Day

Sunday 31 January 2016

The colourful new growth of Salix alba var. vitellina (golden willow) has been tied into bundles to create these temporary sculptures at Hyde Hall Gardens, Essex, U.K. The new stems are encouraged by pruning off all the growth to a ‘leg’ (a single large stem, it may have even started life as a hardwood cutting planted in situ) in the early spring before the leaves burst. This is called 'stooling’ in horticulture or coppicing. The technique is used for a variety of species that produce bright stem colour on new growth - Acer, Cornus, Salix, and Tilia - for winter display. 

Jill Raggett

5

The woods near our house are run as a private nature reserve. The very reasonable owners allow people into the woods to observe wildlife and enjoy the surroundings, as long as visitors are as unobtrusive as possible. Ancient hornbeam trees have been newly coppiced to create open areas and long rides, vastly improving diversity of flora and fauna in the woodland over recent years.

The countryside in England can often feel like it is either hanging on by the skin of it’s teeth against encroaching development or that it is inactive, suspended in time and literally ‘set aside’, to use the agricultural term. The woods in these pictures are alive in every sense. There is a rare, but discrete, feeling of purpose, industry and respect for the land and its inhabitants. 

The wooden structures and shelters dotted around the woods have a playful and light touch and I feel encouraged to become part of the landscape when I visit. 

chickenfluff-deactivated2015070  asked:

The braided willow is amazing! I have too many questions. Are those multiple plants? And what species of willow? And will the circumference of the base of the structure affect how long it lasts/how wide it grows? Unrelated to the willow: do you grow any materials specifically to harvest for the building of structures? I remember you had a tree blow down in a storm and used that in your garden, but do you intentionally plant anything for building material?

I don’t know the species of the braided willow, but it is made of multiple plants:

Sculpting Trees

I think it is more or less the doom of the braided plant to choke itself, but with careful maintenance (ie. keeping a small crown, and keeping the trunks from budding) these sorts of sculptures can last for years. It’s hard to see (and not noticeable when it is in leaf), but a few of the trunks in the structure have already died, allowing nearby ones to grow a bit larger.

These sorts of circular braided structures can also be grafted, which allows them to share resources rather than compete.

The Basket Tree by Axel Erlandson

As for growing wood for these projects, I have a stand of willow I coppice every year, and I have started numerous stands of red dogwood precisely for this reason. I also pollard my trees quite regularly for timber.

When I am pruning anything else, I trim and class the wood in four categories:

7 Uses for Pruned Wood

Generally I think it’s good planning and design to grow the materials you need if you have the space. Most of this kind of stuff (stakes, wattle, mulch) gets really expensive in a hurry, and plants like willow grow like weeds whether or not you clip them down every year!


#asks

Shutting up shop for winter.

I love this time of year. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and all that clichéd Keatsian autumnal splendor. I enjoy the donning of appropriate clothing (to borrow and slightly bastardise a phrase from Sir Rannulph Fiennes) with the sense of invulnerability that it gives me. On a clear and crisp autumn day there is nothing quite as satisfying as smoking a roll up post hard graft.

It is also the time to see how successful the seasons cultivation has been, and what a year it has turned out to be. A spectacular, long hot summer after a very cold and snowy spring seems to be conducive to abundant growth. Squashes, pumpkins, potatoes, shallots and onions are all out the ground and stored. Beetroots, chard, leeks, spring cabbages, parsnips, celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes are snug in the ground protected with a chunky layer of straw. All the bare soil has been mucked with two pick-up truck loads of black gold acquired for free from our neighbours endless supply (I use the word neighbour in its loosest term, their house is half a mile away down dirt tracks and through three farm gates. Yet we are very isolated so if you live within two miles of us, in my mind, you are our neighbours). It is amazing what two horses, three cows and some sheep can produce. After two days of wheel-barrowing all the muck onto our raised beds I very gratefully partook in the wondrous post graft autumnal roll up. Almost as good as the post pub meal with a few pints celebratory smoke. 

In the forest garden we started two years ago the wonder plant that is comfrey has been chopped and dropped where it grows which will hopefully add biomass, minerals and nutrition to the soil. Muck and used bedding from our chicken coop is continuously spread around the globe artichokes, cardoons, raspberries, plum, damson and pear trees. While our flock of guinea fowl regularly wander through the site scratching out grubs and goodies which they process and deposit sporadically around the land. It is probably stretching the truth to refer to the guinea fowl as a flock singular. There are thirty eight individuals broken up into three flocks of four, seven and twenty seven. Even though the group of twenty seven are the progeny of the seven (Broken Beak’s crew) and the four (Flighty Jim’s crew) there are sporadic guinea wars and territorial gesticulations between the Broken Beak posse and the twenty seven, yet to be named, flock. There may have to be some selective male culling in the future if things do not settle down. Not a disaster as guinea fowl casserole or roast guinea fowl are fine dishes. This will only be achieved if I can get the go ahead from my wife who incubated most of the keets.

Now is the time of year for the big jobs. Coppicing and hedgelaying is a top priority once all the leaves have dropped. A task made all the more enjoyable now that I have restored a nice old hatchet thanks to the advice and guidance of the You Tube legend that is Wranglerstar. If you have not seen his You Tube channel I strongly recommend it. He is the sort of universal man of many skills who could make any chap feel slightly inadequate about his own practical abilities. I ignore his ‘prepper’ the world will end, huge economic crash bits, and brush over the Christian moralising undertones and hone in on the skills he offers up for the masses to observe with awe. His videos are always well produced and (as many a You Tube comment has stated) he could make hammering a nail seem interesting and turn it into an almost therapeutic video.

  • An out of cycle hazel hedge to be laid.

  • A restored hatchet for hedgelaying.

If you are interested, here is Wranglestar in all his Pacific North West glory… http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMIjEnXruVHtvgSVf6TgfUg

peonyandbee  asked:

I have a question for you. I've always been of the mindset that cutting any tree down is wrong (unless of course said tree is already dead). It is a sacrilege in my opinion). About ten years ago we bought a house that had four apple trees on the property. The person who planted them did not know what he was doing and we've already lost one (came out of the ground during a storm). Since then another is leaning, one barely fruits, and the last is damaging our roof. (page 1).

continued: “We’d like to make our garden bigger, but the apple trees shade out a large portion of the usable space. Lately I’ve been thinking about removing them and replacing them with something smaller, like a Japanese maple, but that totally goes against how I feel about cutting down viable trees. How do you feel about this? Is it wrong to kill a tree if it’s going to be replaced by another tree? I know it’s a matter of personal preference but I’m curious to get your take. Thanks!” (2 of 2)

I think it’s important to cut down trees when they are no longer functional for your space.

What I would say is: you don’t necessarily have to kill the tree. What I have learned from training trees through bonsai, espalier, coppicing, and pollarding, is that a tree only has to be as large as you allow it to be.

Last year, I cut down a 5 metre tall crabapple to my height, which made room for five more small trees in the vicinity:

I cut off the majority of the tree, and left to two leaders, which then sent up a dense growth of water sprouts that I will prune back. I’m actually planting mistletoe on this one.

From now on, I will drastically control the size of the tree.

Here are some fruit trees out at my partner’s aunt’s place that are 10 of more years old (they are under 2 metres tall):

If your trees aren’t grafted, and they are sending out suckers from the bottom, you can completely renew the tree and start again by cutting down the main stem, and training a sucker into a smaller form.

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Root suckers

If you are going to completely remove the tree, you can give it “new life” of sorts by renting a wood chipper and turning it in to mulch. You should do that if you choose pruning as well. The wood you take from the tree is a valuable resource that can enrich your soil and help new plants grow!

#asks #malus #pruning