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Autumn 2016 at Shawbrook Wood

It has been one of the nicest autumns in Longford in years and has meant that we have been very busy indeed. So busy I haven't had a chance to post up any blogs! Here's a few photo's to show what's been happening. 
Here's the auld Ford moving a small trunk of beech that's going to be used for a horse jump. I believe the correct term is an honesty jump as the horse has to be faithful to commit to jump even though the jump is not that wide!
Here's some larch and oak poles bought as a one off for a customer in Athlone who wanted to build a gazebo for his daughter and grandchildren.
Over the past few years the Larch, planted as a nursery crop between Oak, has been getting very dense and large. I've been trying to thin it out manually.
The manual approach wasn't really getting anywhere apart from knocking the stuffing out me. The problem was  that to fell all the Larch would really decimate the place, be detrimental to the forest floor and also leave the Oak very vulnerable to wind damage so the only good solution was to take out every second larch. This is very difficult with a chainsaw as there is no room for the larch to fall onto the next larch (it'll just sit there) and to fell it across or diagonally it squashes the oak!! So after lots of thought we asked Peter O'Sullivan and his brother Justin from Longford to bring in Peters harvester. The harvester can lift the larch up and lean it on the next larch and then delimb it downwards causing little to no damage to the oak. This is a very tricky job for the operator and Justin did a superb job. The stand was very dry thanks to the good weather and left minimum damage to the forest floor. 
One of our resident hares supervising
It's very satisfying to see a machine take the hardship out of some tasks! 
We will use the Timber for firewood and cladding. We've started forwarding some down to the yard and processing it. 
This will be 2017 firewood. We will leave it split and stacked till early next summer, then final process it and finish seasoning it under shelter. We saw this style of stacking in Romania. 
We've started the new saw shed by building a Log bed to process the Larch which in turn will be used to build the shed!!

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