Brash Harvesting

Aaah, the end of another long day at work. I've got my cup of steaming hot tea, got the fire going, and am now ready to scribe another entry in my enthralling diary.

Oh, wait! I've got to go and do lock-up now.

Right, that's all done now. James and I take it in turns to lock the main gates up at High Lodge, our visitor centre place. He does one week, I do the next. etc.
We are also responsible for making sure the yard is secure, which holds all the machinery, fuel, equipment and vehicles. So not much responsibility then.

My lovely little van, covered in mud.

While I was picking up my van this morning from workshops (it had been in for a service) there was a lorry outside delivering trees for planting. As you can see, it was still quite dark, as we start work at 7 am.

I spoke to Brian, one of the foremen who supervises the work that goes on and he said there were 57,000 Scots Pine trees being delivered that morning. With a team of 7 planting, he reckoned they would all be in the ground by Thursday next week. At a good pace, they will plant about 1,900 trees a day. That's about 200 trees an hour. Try having a go at doing that yourself!

Some people don't realise that the Commission do plant trees, as well as cutting them down. The ironic thing is, a lot of the trees which we see around us and take for granted wouldn't be there if it wasn't for their value as timber. So next time you criticise someone for felling a load of trees, give it a bit of thought. It may be there are more sensitive ways of doing it than those currently in practise, but some of us would like to see that changed.

First job this morning was to go out to where our team are currently working, and put up some signs to warn members of the public against straying into the path of the machinery. This is what the back of my van looks like:

As you can see; signs, spray paint of assorted colours, orange fencing, spare tire, gloves, hammer...
All the essentials of a modern foresters' life. You wouldn't believe how much of my time is spent putting up signs, for the sake of health and safety. Actually, you probably would.

After sorting that little madam out, I went over to another site where we have a contractor cleaning up after our harvesting operation. When we cut down an area of trees, all the little branches, the brushwood or brash is left behind in sort of long rows. This makes it a bit difficult for the aforementioned planters to get their spades in the ground, to say the least.

There are different ways of countering this, but in our district we have decided to remove the brash completely from the site and turn it into wood chip, which also gets sold and made into other products. A forwarder, which is the same machine that collects logs but with a special grab, travels over the site and collects the brash and puts it into piles by the roadside.

Another machine, the chipper, then turns up on site and chips the wood into tiny pieces straight into the back of a waiting lorry. Here is a video of it in action:

And here's a photo of the chipper by itself.

Well, that's enough for another day. Time for dinner, methinks.

Oh, and it's my birthday tommorrow! Huzzah. James is baking me a carrot cake. What a lovely lad.


Listening to:
Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Live in Ledreborg) - Live in Ledreborg, Denmark


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