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About Mesuno

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  1. Mesuno

    Ash dieback problem

    I have a bunch of ash trees all displaying similar signs of die back. How safe are they to climb? Does the die back affect the strength of the main limbs?
  2. Hi Folks, Where do you get lengths of tubular webbing for making slings? I'm going to need half a dozen slings and am considering making my own. Or do you tend to buy pre-made slings? They look pretty expensive for what you get. Thanks Mike
  3. Mesuno

    splicing course

    I'm interested too, if there is one running at some point over the summer months
  4. Mesuno

    Wildflower lawn.

    Our wildflower meadow really came on when we got some rattle established. It seems like managing it properly is key to both getting new species to thrive like the rattle, and ensuring that everything reseeds each year. We do one cut in summer, using brush cutter. Then we rake the cuttings into heaps and let it dry in the sun for a week or so. This seems to let a lot of seeds finish maturing, dry and fall. Then the cuttings are raked all the way off and removed. This both prevents the cuttings forming a thatch in the grass, and reduces soil fertility, which further favours the wild flowers. Once it has all been scraped aside we do a couple of quite short cuts with the ride on mower, bringing the level down even lower. This was the stage when we spread the yellow rattle seeds - when they could fall down to the soil properly. Then into the autumn it is mowed periodically, and the clippings removed again. As the years have passed we have seen more and more wildflower, and less grass - especially where the rattle is thick.
  5. I'd like to take you up on that, when the summer comes around. Term time for the next few weeks, unfortunately.
  6. I'm based near Canterbury, in Kent. Bit far from Hertfordshire, unfortunately! I'd like to find some rec climbers as well. Turns out this is a lot of fun :D
  7. I went out climbing again yesterday afternoon, and had a good session. I went quite a bit higher, now that I have got more confident working the ropes, and I practiced moving around the tree, and going out onto limbs with my weight in the harness. I also experimented with using the secondary line and a second anchor point to get into various positions, as though for working on limbs. I was amazed by how secure and stable the system was with two anchor points. The other good point is that my hands are already substantially tougher, after a few days of working the ropes. I was out for an hour with no gloves, and while hands felt a bit raw at the end there were no blisters. So far I have been working on just one tree - I'm going to try some different ones at the weekend.
  8. Mesuno

    Huge lime trees, never been pruned

    That is an interesting idea, not one that we had thought about when we first planted some replacements. I can see a few ways that we might clone some of the old trees. For example, at least one of the old trees that fell has some regrowth from it's base. I could probably cut it back, and mound it up with sawdust, then come back in a 18 months or so and divide the new sprouts with their root systems - similar to how fruit tree root stocks are propogated. I can see that gap filling will be an ongoing project over the next 50 years or so.
  9. Mesuno

    Whats the going rate for native charcoal?

    As an alternative market - or perhaps an outlet for the fine waste material - you might like to look at selling "biochar". Basically crushed charcoal used as a soil amendment. https://biochar.co.uk/product/biochar-bigbag-1-6-m3/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlIqAlp682wIVxYTVCh3OgAWcEAAYASACEgJKnfD_BwE
  10. Mesuno

    Firewood general

    As has already been mentioned, you will probably do best by building a good shed and drying it yourself. We built ours about 6 years ago now and it has made a huge difference. We have three bays, each 8ft by 8ft on the base. We started by neatly stacking, but decided eventually it was too time consuming so we put some planks on the sides and now just chuck the wood in and leave it a year. I think most homeowners severely underestimate how much storage they will need for their firewood, if using a wood burner all winter. Then they either end up paying through the nose for kiln dried wood in the middle of winter, or burning wood with a high moisture content. Regarding types of wood - we cut our own on site, mostly dealing with windblown branches, trunks, and pruning. We haven't had to bring in anything from off site in a number of years. We burn everything, regardless of type and it all burns well, so long as it has had time to dry. Although ash, oak and holly are probably our favourites as they are dense and hot burning when seasoned.
  11. Mesuno

    Huge lime trees, never been pruned

    Thanks Gary, I think you have assessed the situation pretty well. We are located near Canterbury, in Kent. I’m not sure when the original Avenue was planted, but it is certainly old. Some of the original tree have obviously died many years ago, so there are gaps. We have replanted some limes to fill some gaps, and they are doing nicely. i guess we are not particularly concerned about the “original intention” of uniform trees, but it would be nice to at least preserve what we have where possible. Regarding “overextended” limbs - yes, there is one tree in particular which I think sustained damage early in it’s life and grew more vigorous side branches than many of its taller neighbours. These extend about twice as far as most of the other trees limbs, and there is a lot of weight in them. The tree is otherwise very vigorous and strong, but some of those branches give me the heebie-jeebies. I’ll have a dig and see if there is some kind of veteran tree society in the area.
  12. Ah, got it now. I've been using a figure of 8 for the termination where it meets the harness. I can see that the doubled overhand knot would be more compact. For some reason I was visualising the doubled overhand on the other end of the line, as a stopper knot on the tail - this makes more sense now. Is this what you have in mind? I have been using the figure of 8 loop, as that was what I was taught previously when caving. I've not seen a doubled overhand used before. I have seen the micro-pully setups for slack tending, and they look very neat. I presume you can use much finer line for the pulley lanyard, as it isn't ever load bearing?
  13. Hi Andrew, I'm not sure exactly what you are responding to here. Is this recommendation supposed to be an improvement over the Blake's hitch I have been using? If so, what advantages does it have?
  14. Hi Folks, The field adjacent to our house has an ancient avenue of lime trees passing through it - probably about 30 trees in all. Most years we have had some substantial timber falls during storms; either large branches or whole trunks. Many of the trees seem full of vigour, but others are clearly in decline, with obvious rot in the trunks. There is one that we can see daylight right through. Anyway, I guess my question is about how we can conserve the trees for the long term. And indeed if we should? Some trees have HUGE limbs that are near horizontal. I look at them and think they are going to rip the tree apart with their weight. Would it be reasonable to reduce the length of these somewhat? A lot of the more decrepit trees have knot holes, rotten trunks and cavities. We know we have owls, woodpeckers and other things in them. Are there any issues with leaving them as they are, expecting that they will fall over the next few years? Going back a decade or so, the field had cows in it, and the browse line was at about 7ft. More recently the field has had sheep and the browse line is now at about 3ft, substantially impacting the view. I've been tempted at various points to take out a few of the weeping/hanging branches that drop down very low - at least in some spots where the view is most obscured. Short of a few fence lines, and perhaps an unlucky sheep, there is nothing for any of these trees to hit when they fall, so there is no real urgency to this work. My understanding and personal experience is that lime resprouts vigorously when cut. Is that likely to be true on these old trees? The law of unintended consequences is a PITA - anything not so obvious I should be considering? Cheers Mike
  15. Thanks for all the comments folks, they have been super helpful. I have now downloaded and read the Tree Climbers Companion. Great material in there, lots of very useful practical stuff. Thanks for the tip of the arborist supply shop. I can see a trip in my near future. Gloves - I ended up using some cheap gardening gloves which helped somewhat. But they were a little chewed up by then end. I guess ropework is as hard on gloves is it is on hands! Do you treat gloves as (semi)disposable? Re: training and getting tickets for stuff - yes, I am definitely considering that. However, it is months before I will get a chance (children, work, family holidays etc...) and I'd like to do what I can between now and then. I had a look at the RAD setup - not for me yet I think, at least not without someone to talk me through the process. I've been happy with the DRT /Blakes hitch setup, so I'll park my mechanical gear for the present. Regarding lanyards and things: Is it standard practice to use knots, or do people tend to use spliced lines? From my little bit of practicing so far I can see the appeal of spliced loops, but from my reading I understand that it is frowned on in the UK in professional arborist circles? The Gecko 2 cam with a rather ugly and chunky sewn eye from the manufacture (not spliced. In making lanyards I cut the rope, and am using the manufacturers eyes - one to attach the climbing line, and the other on a Blake's hitch lanyard. I'm not that keen, because of how bulky they are, but that might be solved by using a harness with secondary Ds?


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