Oct 18 Coppice harvesting efficiency – part 1 By Tracy

Sounds technical doesn’t it?

Well, in many ways, it is! Mike and I have just been on a five day course with David Rossney of Esus Forestry and learned all kinds of new skills for coppicing.

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This post deals with the basics of coppicing.

Part 2 addresses chainsaw techniques, and Part 3 explains how ropes can assist the whole process.

You do, of course, first need to have your chainsaw ticket – and know your basic cuts and safety. David uses this harvesting week to teach efficiency, health and safety, types of cuts, using ropes- and most importantly- working without pain and sweat!

The first thing we did was to carefully plan the area we were going to cut and the storage and extraction. The area we were working in has very good rides and access.

We worked out how to store the timber in stacks along the ride…

and where to site the fires!

We needed to break in to the area, so worked first on all the little straggly bits of trees and removed them. We then created a fire area and began felling the easy, small stuff.
As soon as we had a space, we used straps to hook up a ‘bench’ log. This log catches the falling trees and holds them up above the ground. Makes sawing so much easier and much better on your back!

The timber we were keeping was rolled onto stacks at the side and the lop and top landed near the fire- ready for burning. This made the job incredibly quick and painless, with reduced walking and carrying timber.

… and the day is never complete without a good meal!

Part 2 – Chainsaw cuts

Part 3 – Ropes

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