Small Woodland Owners' Group

damage to beech bark

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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby smojo » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:26 pm

Thanks OCP. Yeah it's tough one. There comes a point where you have to re-examine your ethics about life. We might recoil in horror at the thought of killing a beautiful animal like a deer but not bat an eyelid at felling a 100 year old tree because we want to sell the timber. Or it might be the other way around! We might happily shoot the deer because it's killing our tree and damaging our woods (more likely). It's impossible to take a Buddhist type stance of harmlessness to all living things when we study what life on this planet is all about. A few days in the woods and you start to realise that every living thing is killing, eating, infecting some other living thing. We hang on to our morals about not killing certain things because we are human and supposedly more intelligent than other animals and therefor feel we ought to be more responsible about what we kill, and rightfully so, but where do we draw the line? If something is attacking us we surely have the right to defend ourselves if it means killing that thing. We need to eat so we have to kill plants, animals, fish. We need to protect our property. I love nature and the beauty in most living things and so it's hard to bring myself to sanction the killing of anything. It really is a tricky subject and I don't think anyone is right or wrong. It has to be purely a personal decision and one that you feel comfortable and can live with. If my beautiful beech tree dies I will be onto those little buggers somehow but it will be painful for me to instigate.
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby Dexter's Shed » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:26 pm

SimonFisher wrote: pity we can't deal with all nuisances so easily...


you can, but that's against the law, :roll:
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby boxerman » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:56 pm

I too don't like killing anything - hell, I've been known to walk around an ant rather than stepping on it..... but I guess if we own woodland and like to think that we're protecting it for future generations and the good of the planet then maybe we need to look at our attitudes to see if they are actually consistent with that with an open mind and be prepared to change our views if needed.

Now I know that grey squirrels are considered a pest and very clearly they do a lot of damage to woodland but just as a matter of interest were red squirrels considered in the same way when they were around? Clearly our woodland survived them for 1,000's of years and yes, I'm old enough to remember seeing them in the garden but all I remember is lovely little creatures that we all loved.
Phil

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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:13 am

boxerman wrote:I too don't like killing anything - hell, I've been known to walk around an ant rather than stepping on it..... but I guess if we own woodland and like to think that we're protecting it for future generations and the good of the planet then maybe we need to look at our attitudes to see if they are actually consistent with that with an open mind and be prepared to change our views if needed.

Now I know that grey squirrels are considered a pest and very clearly they do a lot of damage to woodland but just as a matter of interest were red squirrels considered in the same way when they were around? Clearly our woodland survived them for 1,000's of years and yes, I'm old enough to remember seeing them in the garden but all I remember is lovely little creatures that we all loved.


I couldn't answer that one, but as the red is native, I doubt it would get put under the pest species list if it was not in decline, the grey squirrel, along with the Canadian geese, are non native, and that's why they are classed as pest species with no closed season on culling, nothing to do with what they do or don't do whilst here in the UK
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby smojo » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:02 am

As far as I'm aware red squirrels' natural habitat is coniferous forest and doubt they strip bark. Greys originate from the US and so does sycamore (that's not native either). Sycamore being a maple and therefore contains a lot of sweet sap, I guess the greys natural instinct then is to go for those trees. Who can blame them, they're just being - well grey squirrels. Greys also carry a virus which they are immune to but red's aren't. Another reason to dislike them. But...... when they run along with their little fluffy tails flowing being - aren't they cute :?
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:41 am

Greys originate from the US and so does sycamore
.

50% correct.

It doesnt help that Americans have a tree that they call Sycamore, which is quite different to our tree of that name. Our Sycamore, is an Acer or Maple, Acer pseudoplatanus, which originates from Central Europe and Asia, the pseudoplatanus label does acknowledge its similarity to Plane trees. Its been in Britain since at least 1500, before the establishment of modern America, and many argue its probably been here a lot longer, buts its pollen was previously mistaken for field maple in archaeological testing- it could have been here since the bronze age as it has an ancient gaelic name.

American Sycamore, Platanus Occidentalis, is a North American native tree and a member of the Plane family, its not related to our Acer or Maple family 'Sycamore' and the two have different appearances.

Just to confuse matters, we have a hybrid of the American sycamore and an Asian Plane, which we call London Plane.

American 'Sycamore' (Plane)

Platanus_occidentalis_fruit.jpg


European Sycamore, (Maple)

Acer-pseudoplatanus-1.jpg
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:01 pm

it just struck me reading the rest of these post's actually, it seems a lot of people are a bit two faced when you think of it, in that they try to look morally better than others for not wanting to remove the fluffy cute non native grey squirrel, and try to make those who do remove it look bad, yet on the other hand are quite happy to preach about non native trees and bushes, and how they should be eradicated from native broadleaved woodlands, are they not a living thing too :cry:
this post is not aimed directly at anyone here, as I don't judge people on their actions unlike some
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby SimonFisher » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:10 pm

Let me clarify _my_ position. I have no problem with anyone who chooses to try and reduce grey squirrel numbers or eradicate them from their woodland. We have screwed up nature enough by introducing non-native species and removing anything that might prey on them naturally. Who's to say in such situations as to what's right and what's wrong. If you choose to control squirrels, and if I had to do it, I'd rather see a method employed that causes as little pain and suffering as possible, such as an accurate shot. We don't attempt grey squirrel control in our own woods as on our own we'd have little effect on the population, don't have the resource to trap and check traps sufficiently often, and don't have the confidence that I'd shoot with 100% accuracy each time to ensure a 'clean' kill.

My criticm of _your_ post Dexter's Shed was that it was either intentionally provocative or crass - made without any consideration as to how some forum users will feel about a picture of a dead squirrel and a rifle. Were your picture and comments at all helpful in the discussion as to what had caused the damage to smojo's tree or did you just find it mildly amusing to post?
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:27 pm

There are many contradictions in modern society. Most people are unaware of the 'killing zone' they call the countryside, where just about everything eats everything else. The historic slaughter of all large predators by people seems to be a largely successful attempt by humans to eradicate all competition to be top of the food chain and tilt the ecosystem to their own design. The UK countryside is neither natural or balanced; its been artificially made by us and most of the current issues such as invasive grey Squirrels and excess deer numbers are a consequence of our actions. Ancient woods are more natural, complex and diverse places but virtually obliterated and should be cherished, so I for one was delighted to see the back of 'badger doom' Paterson, who put no value on them if they were in the way of HS2.

Most townies would baulk at talk of shooting fluffy squirrels or bambies, but are quite happy to buy and eat the cheap meat produced by industrialised animal facilities where the 'livestock' has a poor quality of life before a premature and efficient execution. Yes I eat meat too, but with a degree of reluctance and try to cut down on it.

Regarding introduction of non-natives, purists who advocate a return to some post glacial hunter gatherer society (that'll be me), should bear in mind that most of our food is either imported exotics or the result of introducing foreign species such as potatoes, maize, tomatoes, rabbit, chickens (asian), etc.

I tried some burdock root yesterday and wasn't a fan- it was like bootlaces. Back to the nettle soup. Their are many introduced non native trees and shrubs and animals which have adapted well to our climate, some of which fit in quite well, such as sweet chestnut, buddleia, pheasants and disease resistant variants of existing trees.

Like it or not, we change the mix of animals and plants out there and its for each individual wood owner to decide what works for them. In 5 Billion years the sun will expand and burn the whole lot to a crisp, so what the heck.

Regarding whether a picture of a dead squirrel is offensive, no more so than neat rows of skinned dead animals on Sainsbury's meat counter, or the graphic images of wholesale slaughter by man unto man carried by the BBC on every news report; its a beautiful but violent world.
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:20 pm

SimonFisher wrote: Were your picture and comments at all helpful in the discussion as to what had caused the damage to smojo's tree or did you just find it mildly amusing to post?


by the time I posted the picture, squirrels had already been put to blame for the stripping of smojo's tree, I was just making a point that I remove them, rather than leaving them to it, and as the other plot holders including myself, have given each other shooting permission, then covering the whole woods rather than just our plot will hopefully reduce the population, they are no different from rats/mice barring they taste better, if anyone had a big infestation of rodents in their homes, I'm sure they would see nothing wrong in laying poisons or putting down "little nipper" traps, and would see it as a job well done, culling any pest is therefore no different,
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