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Big J

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About Big J

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    Senior Member, Raffle Sponsor 2014

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    East Devon

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  1. That is definitely a concern, as brambles are an issue in the locality. We are hoping that the ground is sufficiently acidic to perhaps suppress the invasive, non-tree species on the slope. Additionally, there are a few hardwoods scattered through the stand (some cherry and birch) and we're going to leave them standing despite the likelihood that they will blow. Even a year or two standing would mean a huge drop of seeds, saving us quite a lot of planting.
  2. Another replanting question. We've got a western red cedar clearfell to do in the summer, with around 4.5 acres to come down. About the same area again is also to be thinned. The object of the clearfell is to return the woodland to native hardwoods, and the reason for clearfelling this compartment and only thinning the others is that it is of generally poorer quality. The block is on a fairly steep slope, faces east and is free draining acid loam over rock. We would like to replant, or at least encourage regeneration. The slope is just about gentle enough for an excavator (with skilled operator) to be able to move around freely. I was wondering if there was a way to cultivate the land with a mulcher or such like in order to encourage birch and cherry regeneration, possibly including some form of seed planting? We (myself and the landowner) aren't desperately keen to replant with trees, stakes and tubes because of the cost, the disposal issues at the end, and the visual impact of the tubes on the hillside. I'm aware that cultivated ground will probably spring up with birch anyway, but I'm just looking at a way of speeding up the process.
  3. Well if you get yourself set up with a skyline, get yourself down here and I'll have work for you.
  4. There is certainly an environmental angle to skylining as no ground impact. I don't much like winching anyway, and skylining just seems like a lot of hassle!
  5. It's a joy to work in. Nice big trees and my two main cutters are doing upwards of 25t each a day. The trees are anywhere from 1/2 cube up to about 4 cube, 100-120ft tall.
  6. I just don't want to get into skylining if I can.
  7. The way that one of my cutters put it was "the tractor is doing all the hauling, but the forwarder is taking all of the strain off the cutters as it's moving all the brash, the chipwood and making life easier for the tractor too"
  8. Having a lot of fun on a Douglas Fir clearfell/thinning near Honiton. Finally out of the horribly muddy valley near Tiverton, and on dry, rocky ground. Also, no brutally steep slopes or winching. Spent much of the week on the tractor myself, but yesterday had a young lad on his second day on the tractor and me on the forwarder. The distance to the extraction point isn't that far (400-800m) but the combination of me on the forwarder putting the logs ride side, and the tractor hauling them to the landing bay was superb. It quadrupled Ed's extraction rate and was even 50% more than I was able to do with the tractor. The forwarder is so much quicker nipping between the trees on the thinning, and you can just chuck it around on the slopes with wild abandon, whereas the tractor with the roof mount won't tolerate any kind of side slope. Anyway, we'll have felled and extracted 300t this week. If anyone has a need for oversized DF (minimum 30cm top diameter, but could work to minimum 40cm top), I could do a load or two next week, maximum length 5.5m.
  9. Big J

    Electric joysticks for botex

    I'm only 150 odd hours into my forestry tractor ownership, but I don't find the valves too bad. You can feel that you've done a shift, and even jumping between the electrohydraulics on the forwarder and tractor isn't too much a lurch. I'd go for electric joysticks on the next one though, as I can't justify the cost for conversion.
  10. Big J

    Lime timber for milling

    Boring and largely worthless. Creamy white, minimal figure and tough to sell. It will shift eventually, but it take ages and you'll not make much on it. Best to pass and save your efforts for something more marketable.
  11. You are right. I sold my Bullerjan to a friend near Aviemore and his mum can't stand it! 😄
  12. Big J

    Douglas Fir and sequoia value

    A lucas mill would be a good option for it. Build the mill over the log and mill in situ.
  13. Big J

    Today's milling

    Might be worth you speaking to Bill Watson at Angus Biofuels in Forfar. He has my old Logmaster LM2 sawmill, which is a Texan machine, built like a brick shithouse and with strong, simple hydraulics, including a log loader. Can't be too far from you and it'll give you plenty of ideas on how to pimp your sawmill.
  14. Very good. Long firebox meant that on the 11kw version we had, 45-48cm logs were the standard. The door latch has a wonderfully elegant closure mechanism and the convected air from pipes works pretty similarly to a bank of stove fans.
  15. More expensive than they used to be. About £2k. About 6 years ago, I bought one from German eBay from Eastern Germany and sent it over on a pallet. It was used and about £550.

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