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Brambles

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Re: Brambles

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue May 27, 2014 11:41 am

Robins, etc nesting-

Indeed, Rankinswood. I think the discussion is largely hypothetical; Smojo hasn't got his wood yet and is looking ahead, I'm currently plastered and doing very little for the next few weeks. I'd hope to be able to do brushcutting in a while, but am well aware of the birdies;

I should be able to use the brushcutter on the brambles and follow up by spot squirting any regrowth with SBK. (Got to consider nesting birdies though)


I'd guess most fledglings should have flown by now, seeing them in the garden and everything is earlier this year. That does raise the possibility though of them having a second brood, which could take us up to August.
Think the answer is care and observation before disturbing undergrowth at this time of year, or just leave till a bit later.
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Re: Brambles

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue May 27, 2014 12:37 pm

To add to my previous post, I did some research on Robins, extracts of which are as follows;

The breeding season normally begins in March. Most nests are located on or near the ground in hollows, nooks and crannies, climbing plants, hedgebanks, tree roots, piles of logs and any other situations that provide a fully concealed cavity.


So log heaps or some sort of hiding place under brambles is a possible nest site.

The birds are very sensitive to any disturbance during the nest building and egg laying, and will easily desert the nest if they think that the nest has been discovered. Unless the birds are used to people, it is best to stay clear of the immediate vicinity of the nest


Robins have two broods a year. Three successful broods a year is not uncommon, and in a good year even four are known. These multiple broods result in a long breeding season, and nestlings can be found until late July.


So- If seeing Robins round an area, I'll give it a wide birth and perhaps only attack odd stray brambles on the paths and clearings rather than dense patches. Seems I'm condemned in June/July to watch Brazilian TV and drink Beer instead. How dreadful. :lol:
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Re: Brambles

Postby smojo » Wed May 28, 2014 7:43 am

My main interest in owning a wood is to make it a place of quiet recreation, where I can practise a bit of bushcraft, sit and observe nature and restore my sanity (if I had any to start with) and to add diversity to encourage wildlife, especially birds which I love. I intend to wait till winter before clearing any brambles. That way, with the summer to identify what else is growing amongst them, I can make note of any saplings etc, that I want to avoid cutting down. I even have thoughts on tagging them with some coloured ribbon or something highly visible so that I can spot them easily when I start to clear. I will be working on them in a very careful and controlled manner. Initially I'll just cut some pathways to allow me better access around it. There's an area that has a wild feel about it, very overgrown and I'd like to keep a part of that as it is for the sake of the wildlife. It makes sense to wait till winter too in that most of the foliage will have dropped off and made it easier to see any obstacles underneath and of course less bulk to deal with. I'll be leaving quite a bit of bramble here and there to act as havens for insects and birds and provide some fruit (wine, jam and pies). I've got it pretty well sussed in my head already. Thanks for all the advice and observations everyone.
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Re: Brambles

Postby oldclaypaws » Wed May 28, 2014 8:49 am

Similar philosophy to us. Be aware that while too many brambles undoubtedly choke and suppress other ground flora, in the case of young saplings they can help keep the deer off. I've found that by removing the brambles and leaving 1-2" saplings standing in the open, deer come and have the lower bark as a tasty snack, which kills the tree. So far they've had Ash (a favourite), the odd Hazel and my prize Cherry. The answer is 2 fold; protect the lower portion of the tree with a 150cm plastic mesh in a tube shape round it (left for a few years), and consider deer control- I'll be inviting in a pal next winter to do just that. Its a way of keeping a balance, protecting the trees and getting some healthy tasty meat. Seem to remember mentions that the midnight local lads had eradicated most of your deer, but they'll be back. (The deer).
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Re: Brambles

Postby smojo » Wed May 28, 2014 3:23 pm

Seem to remember mentions that the midnight local lads had eradicated most of your deer, but they'll be back. (The deer).


Yeah, think I spotted evidence last visit. Some long lush grass in an open area had been flattened in several places close together as if something had laid there and nearby a small elder branch was wilting and dying off. A closer look showed bark had been stripped from it by something.
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Re: Brambles

Postby smojo » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:33 am

Now I've done some clearing with the brushcutter I have a lot of short pieces of stems lying around. I didn't spend too long trying to mash them to smithereens so there are pieces a few inches long. The question is - are they likely to take root as small cuttings come spring or will they just dry up and die off? Right now they still look green and fresh. I'm wondering whether it's worth doing a rough raking with a lawn rake to get the bulk of them gathered up before they can root again.
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Re: Brambles

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:16 am

are they likely to take root as small cuttings


Every piece of bramble bigger than 5mm will grow another plant, including the leaves, roots, shoots and flowers. I reckon by brush cutting you'll generate about 2000 new bramble plants per square metre and be doomed to be buried in neck high brambles for eternity.

Not. :twisted: We could just say 'wait and see', but the truth is no, I've never seen a section of bramble retake, you've been watching too many horror films. Lol. If you bring the brushcutter with mulching blade down vertically on any sections a few inches long, it'll reduce them further. I find even the roots/tubers once dug up and discarded tend to just shrivel up and die. They aren't indestructible, regular cutting or digging up roots or squirting with strong SBK will do them in. Crack on now, once March comes you'll have to quit to let the birdies nest, but should find loads of new stuff coming up where the brambles were. Good time to do them just now, you can still see any young Hazels easily among the bramble as they still have a few leaves, but the Hazel has yellower leaves among the dark green of the Bramble. Accidentally cut Ash saplings have a good chance of regrowing.
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Re: Brambles

Postby smojo » Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:09 am

Ta mate. They are such rampant growers that I was convinced they would root as do the growing tips when they touch the ground. Yeah cracking on as much as poss. Realising that winter is the time to get lots of maintenance tasks done. I recently put a couple of birdfeeders up. Until now I have never seen any birds on them but the seeds keep going down and was wondering if the squirrels were managing to get them even though they are pretty squirrel proof. Last visit I witnessed about 20 various small tits around the area and taking the seeds and one landed on the nest box nearby so I'm hoping the little birdies will use it next year. The brambles are loved by the tiny wrens that hop in and out so I'll be leaving some nice thick areas here and there for them to use.
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