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Spruce Pirate

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About Spruce Pirate

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  • Birthday 03/05/1976

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  1. You can still swear at them, but I don't miss the sweating part when you've got a machine to do it for you.
  2. They're questioning whether PPE is an allowable expense? I'm including waterproofs as PPE - when working outside you need to be protected from the elements. I've had three different accountants (died, retired, current) and none have even thought of questioning this. To my mind any and all work clothing is an allowable expense and the accountants have always backed this up. The rest of your queries seem reasonable to me, but I've no direct experience of them, and I'm not an accountant. I might think of looking for another accountant if I were you.
  3. Yes, everyone who has suggested planting a new tree is right. It would be cheaper. It would be easier. Point is the Laird wants the one they've got moving, so the one they've got is going to move. Estates are like that. Besides there's more fun in trying to move the tree than just popping town to the nursery and sticking a new on in. I'll base my digging on a 1.8m radius to start off with and see how it goes. I think we'll probably end up with a smaller root ball to make it liftable, but seems sensible to start off big when seeing how far the roots actually spread. All my hi-vis jacket are dirty, this might explain why I've never made it into management. This is very encouraging, as despite all the good intentions of hand digging and figuring out how it should be done, I have a feeling it may come down to what becomes practical to do on the day.
  4. Enjoyed that. Logbullet looks as thought it beats the Hell out of a breaking bar getting spruce thinnings down!
  5. 1m in diameter? This seems quite small for a tree this size, I was assuming it to be nearer 2m diameter. Buying in isn't an option I think as the laird fancies the idea of moving the one they've got. I'll do a bit of exploring, I expect the soil to be heavy, clingy and wet. I'll do some spade work, or see if I can persuade someone else to do some spade work while I "supervise". Tree spade isn't in the budget I think (I'm only guessing as I don't know how much a tree spade costs), a quick Google doesn't come up with anyone local that might do it, I think Ruskins do national coverage but not sure. I'd agree a spade would be the best option but I think yokel power will be the actual solution somehow. Whereabouts are you? Do you hire out the frame? Many thanks for all the advice, I'll do a bit of digging with the spade and see how it looks for starters. Any further advice welcome, if I remember I'll take some photo's of the excavations and see what folk think.
  6. I'm looking for advice on moving a lime standard. The tree is a common lime, I believe, approximately 20 years old, I think about 18 from memory, but say 17 - 20. It is about 13' tall and about 15cm dbh. The local estate planted a lime avenue in 2000 which has done fairly well but a couple of trees have failed over the years. Several replacement trees were got and put in in subsequent years and this is the last one which they have decided now to move to replace one of the trees which isn't doing quite so well. We replaced some a number of years ago (at least 10 years ago) but at the time the replacements were much smaller and I've never done one quite this big before. Access to machinery and trailers isn't a problem, what I really want to know is how big a root ball we should be leaving. I'm guessing as big as possible. Any advice on lifting the tree, wrapping roots or anything else much appreciated. The tree only has to move a couple of hundred meters, all on estate roads so no need to secure it to a lorry, worry about low bridges or anything like that. Photo's of tree to be moved in it's current position should be attached below.
  7. If there's enough to make it worthwhile that's fine, and probably what would happen. Most of the time we fell downhill whenever possible, but sometimes you get a steep wee snap that simply won't reach the bottom of the hill and the only option is to fell uphill. Unless the volume of timber is there to justify bringing a skyline or a winch in the easiest thing is to fell uphill - and take care. Provided you know what you're doing the risks are manageable in my opinion, but you definitely need to be paying attention and it's not a job for someone straight off a chainsaw training course. Skylining, or other means of winching are also not without risk so it is a balancing act between putting a few trees uphill with the risk there, or setting up a winch with its associated risks. For relatively small amounts I'd just tip them up the hill and run every time.
  8. What you can do sometimes is get the harvester to hold the tree while you take the hinge off. Only works sometimes if the tree is lying right. It can save the tree taking off, but won't help to stop it springing. Sometimes it could make the butt spring worse.
  9. Never used the Humbolt for uphill felling, need to have too high a stump to get the gub in the stump. Personally I use the sap wood cuts as you describe, narrow gub and leave as thin a hinge as possible. Forward leaning trees sometimes worthwhile boring in and setting the hinge nice and thin first. Wouldn't bother messing around with straps at the back, just come straight out. Most trees uphill will need a wedge in my experience normally means you end up chasing the hinge to get it as thin as possible and then making a swift retreat, not always easy on a steep slippy slope. Generally don't like uphill felling but sometimes needs must. There aren't many experiences as scary as you describe of a butt pinging 15' in the air and then taking off down the hill as you sever the hinge if it stays on.
  10. My old boss was always in a hell of a hurry. If he arrived at a set of temporary lights, normally screeching to a halt, he'd quite happily reverse back (providing nobody behind him) and then drive towards them again at high speed to try and trigger the sensor. He'd do this basically until the light changed or someone came up behind him. Used to hate going anywhere in a car with him.
  11. Got a call this evening from a boy I did a job with a couple of years back who needs a tree report done in Lochgilphead. Seems some trees have been felled, leaving the neighbour's trees (his brother-in-laws) exposed and likely to fall over. No problem felling the trees, but apparently they're TPO'd so needs a report done to get permission to fell, don't think there will be any issue with replanting. Anyone on here around about that area could do a tree report? Drop me a PM and I can put both parties in touch. Cheers
  12. Sounds interesting J. I've often wondered about a similar set up for 1st thinnings in spruce, but never got as far as actually costing anything. A couple of thoughts...… When you load the whole tree onto the forwarding trailer, with them being largely dead, brittle ash you're likely to break a lot of the branches off. Some of these will get left behind in the wood, mostly the smaller ones, but hopefully you'll retain many in the bunk. This might actually increase the capacity per load if I'm not mistaken? The same at the point of chipping, hopefully it will be more compact, resulting in more material per grab getting fed into the chipper. Jenkys are extracting brash from the mats along the road for us and chipping into walking floors in the wood, so there must be some sort of money in it. Clearfell, after everything has been extracted the forwarder lifts all the mats, stacks brash at roadside, tracked chipper comes in, loaded by excavator with grab straight into a walking floor. Commercial operation, non-grant aided as far as I know, customer getting a return on the brash. On a slight downside, if the spacing is that tight then a 30' pole is going to be quite something to manoeuvre around! Either you're going to skin the retained trees which isn't going to be good or you're going to break the poles, especially as they're brittle ash. Realistically I'd think you'd probably do both which is the worst combination. There are good reasons for short-wood working in thinnings as opposed to long-wood. Be interested to see how you get on with it and if the figures add up.
  13. Knowing practically nothing about coppicing I have a romantic image of hand-cutting and brash bonfires. That said there's a bit along the road that's grown for biomass which is cut with a forager. Is it a forage harvester you're talking about or forestry harvester or specific coppice harvester?
  14. Plenty of narrow roads on the continent: By now you really should have learned that everything is better up here!!!


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