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Gary Prentice

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About Gary Prentice

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    Senior Member, Raffle Sponsor 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Birthday 28/01/1966

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  1. Gary Prentice

    Pollard a willow in decline to rejuvenate it.

    The Limes being transplanted/stressed etc, it would make sense that HF could colonise them, hence my comment about trees at a low ebb. I kind of think that stump-grinding would be easier for fungi to colonise than leaving the stump intact to be honest, but saying that I can't recall seeing HF fruiting where stumps have been ground. Furthermore, I can't recall seeing HF on wood-chip piles or on mulch either. (Not that the absence of FFBs is conclusive anyway) Could the saprophytic fungi that you more commonly see be antagonistic to HF? This article mentions stump removal where the stump is the disease centre, couple with root raking to remove larger roots. Whether that means that there is a lower/negligible risk from smaller organic remains, small diameter roots or wood-chip is unanswered. http://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/intropp/lessons/fungi/Basidiomycetes/Pages/Armillaria.aspx In conclusion, I wouldn't advocate using wood-chippings from obviously infected trees (armillaria, K.d) but generally I'd think that there is a very low risk of introducing something harmful. I still think that the positives outweigh the negatives.
  2. Gary Prentice

    Does Sat Nav ever work well?

    But to be fair, parts of Cornwall are still to be explored and shown on maps as 'Here there be Dragons'
  3. Gary Prentice


    No photo, but I've seen a couple of floating rim sprockets where the drive link had worn through the clutch itself, separating it into two parts.
  4. Gary Prentice


    Chain tension will make a bit of difference, but in the end they're a consumable part. In answer to the original question, when I was managing lads I'd replace when the bottom of the gulley got dimpled. In an ideal world you'd probably change every 2-3 chains regardless, but with multi-user saws (and lots of digging ditches) the rate of chain consumption seemed a lot higher than owner/user saws and the teeth always disappeared before drive link wear problems appeared.
  5. Gary Prentice


    Got your moneys worth out of that one
  6. Gary Prentice

    Pollard a willow in decline to rejuvenate it.

    Possibly Mick But seeing as Honey Fungus is pretty endemic anyway, would the cause actually be the woodchip or spores in the air or rhizomorphs already present in the soil?
  7. Gary Prentice

    Thats one lucky cyclist!

    I wonder what that button does? Oops.
  8. Gary Prentice

    Pollard a willow in decline to rejuvenate it.

    It's trees Mick, there's never a 100% satisfactory answer to more or less any question. There's three threads running on identification that no-one can agree on, so what's the likelihood of agreement on something as complex as mulching and the effect on pathogens, soil bulk density, mycorrhiza, moisture retention and moisture percolation etc etc etc.
  9. Gary Prentice

    Pollard a willow in decline to rejuvenate it.

    The only literature that I've ever read or lecturers that I've listened to have been positive. I wouldn't dispute that a breeding ground/habitat might be created but whether this is beneficial for harmful organisms is, in my opinion, unlikely. Go into an old woodland and start rooting about amongst the lead litter and organic debris, try to find something that is truly harmful to the trees (Apart from Heterobasidion annosum on conifer stumps). If the fungal decomposers were harmful to living trees, generally they'd be no woodland, the same with the microfauna. There's a lot of literature about hygiene in gardens, cleaning up and burning/removing fallen leaves - in some circumstances that may be necessary to prevent fungal spores re-colonizing the following year (tar spot on maples, ash die-back, horse-chestnut leaf miner and leaf blotch), but realistically most of these pathogens are so endemic unless everyone is doing the same it's unlikely to have any significant impact. Honey fungus is probably one of the main concerns, but even that is pretty widespread anyway and only really becomes problematic when it finds a tree that is stressed due to some other problem. I don't think I'd personally not mulch because of a possible chance of giving HF the upperhand. Have a look at Glyn Percivals papers on mulching. The sugars in cherry and hawthorn are meant to encourage mycorrhizal fungi, some other tree has antibiotic properties that are thought to reduce some diseases, can't remember which but might be hawthorn or willow. There's just so much literature available, but it's all very focused on each particular benefit so takes a bit of searching. But generally you won't go wrong using whatever you can get that is well composted.
  10. Gary Prentice

    Thats one lucky cyclist!

    You think? I wouldn't bet on that at all. The extent of their disregard for the safety of the general public suggests, to me, that those type of practices are the norm. They just got caught on camera this time.
  11. Gary Prentice

    Pollard a willow in decline to rejuvenate it.

    Apparently the southerners only got a look in cos the Scots debated too long about spending the money but yes, there was a few of us. I'm glad that he's run it again, he's a nice bloke. We disagreed on a few things and had some correspondence after the event, but that's how you learn. Sometimes there isn't a right or wrong answer, no universal panacea to look to, but debate is healthy and encourages assessment of opposing opinions. Thanks for the well wishes
  12. Gary Prentice

    Pollard a willow in decline to rejuvenate it.

    Was that last year? I must have missed that comment because I would have had to debate it. I'll have a look what I've got but have a busy weekend. Water retention is only one benefit, Reduction in competition from nutrients is another, introducing organic matter into the soil, increased soil organisms improve drainage and reduce soil bulk densities, sugars (particularly from prunus and hawthorn) encourage mycorrhizal activity. There's a few more, but those are off the top of my head. I look at this way, in their natural environment trees grow, shade out competition, drop leaves etc. Then we bring them into an artificial environment - surround them with grass that uses energy as we keep cutting it and removing the clippings, removing yet more nutrients. We trample the soil around their roots, clear the fallen leaves, all depleting nutrients and making life hard. Then we prune them and get surprised that they keep trying to grow. I think that it's amazing that the average street tree not only survives but actually grows, they are amazing what they overcome. How can attempting to recreate a little of their natural environment not be beneficial? @David Humphries had a post or thread a few years back on a knackered veteran pear, in grass, real last legs tree. He documented the mulching and followed it over a few years. I know that it's only one example, but I've seen the benefits of mulching over the years and it almost certainly can't harm.
  13. Gary Prentice

    Making the news today....

    Well that's just ruined his reputation..... Good on yer Mick
  14. Gary Prentice

    Pollard a willow in decline to rejuvenate it.

    Mulch it, mulch it and mulch it. The trees been stressed, there's competition from the surrounding vegetation and it's going to be pruned again ( reducing some of it's energy stores and ability to photosynthesise. Treat the tree as a whole and give it a leg up towards surviving.
  15. Gary Prentice

    Adventure Playgrounds

    Knebworth used to have a large one in the 70's/ early eighties. I very much doubt that it is would have passed modern H&S standards


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