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About Pidgeonpost

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  1. Yes, Alec - we've just had our last apple crumble within the last 10 days - couple of Bramleys, and an apple we have yet to identify, I must post a couple of pics next time we have some fruit. It's a real picture-book apple - round, and rosy red. The fruit is quite hard, not woolly, and just a bit sharp as an eating apple when eaten fresh, but it's an excellent keeper, becoming softer and sweeter over the winter. That tree has also been pruned in the last week or so. A bit of a spur of the moment thing, but it was threatening next door's phone line.
  2. Hello all, As you were so responsive and helpful over our Bramley, here's a pic of the tree after surgery. Hoping it will recover OK and continue to give us some fruit, though not as much as before!
  3. Thanks. Re-reading my post it comes across as a bit of a 'brag' which it's not meant to be. Rather, I'm hoping it might encourage others to either engage a professional or to have a go themselves to rescue a bit of hedge. An awful lot have been lost in a short time.
  4. Today we gave our hedge its first trim with shears, secateurs and lopper since laying so I thought I'd post a couple of pics of how it's looking now. It's still a bit thin at one end, but there's a very old hawthorn there which I wasn't sure would even survive laying. It's recovering and has put out a few new shoots, but I may push a couple of young ones in this winter. So, it's no masterpiece, but it's looking a sight better than it used to. ?
  5. I was always happy to have green timber 'in the round' - mostly oak, beech, and ash - as I always seemed to get more even if perhaps I didn't. I also used to quite enjoy splitting and stacking in the days when we had only a Franco Belge wood-burning boiler. Heating a stone cottage in a frost pocket took 9-10 typical loads a year. I'd usually had enough by the last load though. It was stacked for a year before use.
  6. When we bought our first woodstove in the mid-70's we were interested to read that in the U.S. firewood was usually sold by the 'cord' . The people we bought from - usually one-man bands with a Tranny flat-bed - always looked puzzled when we mentioned that, and so a load was a load was a load as far as most were concerned. You either trusted them or you didn't. I think if I was selling I'd be tempted to make available a couple of pics for customers, e.g. a ton of wet wood, a ton of dry wood, and a cubic metre of wood maybe stacked like the cord in the link above. These days we buy from a large sawmill that kilns its firewood and it's sold by cubic metre.
  7. Well folks, what can I say - except thank you all for your replies. ? The consensus seems to be to keep it, reduce as you've suggested and then manage it. That would be our preferred route. Removing trees is never our first choice, but we also have to bear in mind the on-going cost of possibly employing someone to do seasonal management. Some work I may be able to do myself once it's under control, but I'm 70+, pension, ladders etc...and then there are about another half-dozen trees needing a bit of TLC. But thank you all. Hopefully we can take some action over the winter, virus permitting.
  8. We've got a large Bramley apple tree in our garden, and it either needs major attention or removal. It's been pruned fairly heavily in the 10 years we've lived here, plus some fairly random annual pruning by me, out of desperation. It produces loads of apples - far too many for us to pick, use, store, or even give away. Everyone has too many apples and we can't even keep pace with the windfalls as you're talking of wheelbarrow loads each week. A local tree surgeon has said he could either remove or pollard the tree, and those seem to be the choices. Removal would be reasonably straightforward, but would pollarding just see us back in the same situation in a short time? It might not be so bad if we could slow the growth down, but it's rampant! Did I dream it or can you slow the growth by partially ring-barking on opposite sides of the tree? The tree provides some welcome shade at some times of the year - or steals the sunlight depending how you look at it! Interested in opinions. Pic attached - tree is 20+feet tall and climbing trees to prune them is a bit iffy now I'm 70+.
  9. Well thanks for that @Gimlet-that's encouraging! The hedge really was in a bad way. There was no base to it and it looked like a row of stems with lollipop tops. The first part we laid was also the most difficult to deal with due to the size and direction of growth of some of the stems. Luckily they laid OK though I did have some stems elsewhere that I thought were live and just snapped off when tackled. Also some stems were hugely thick dead ivy. The notes I had from the 80's suggested notching the base of some stools to encourage new shoots. This has worked well. One frustration was having no material for stakes and nowhere I could cut or buy binders. The Forestry Commission (once an easy source of bean and peasticks) now wants some sort of certification and 3rd party liability insurance. A local farmer helped us out but the binders could have been better. The age thing doesn't bother us too much as we're pretty active and lucky enough not to have dodgy knees, hips or backs. We both felt we benefited from the exercise. Here's to healthy hedges!
  10. Thanks - that promises to be an interesting read. I'm hoping to get the opportunity to help a friend lay his hedge this winter - if he gets round to it.
  11. Thanks @Gimlet that's very helpful. There's no chance of flail cutting on this hedge. The hedgeline is only about 6' from a large window and flailing under previous ownership resulted in a broken pane (which was left for us to replace). At only 25 yards it will be hand tools. Controlling height is a slight concern because a trimmed height of 6'-8' on one side will result in a height of 10'-12' from the lane on the other side, but hey ho! At age 70 and 71 we were apprehensive about tackling the job but I'd done a weekend course back in the 80's, though done no laying since. We knew the hedge must be very old as there was a thatched cottage here before the existing house. We knew also that the hedge hadn't been laid for at least 30-40 years. There was a HUGE amount of dead stuff and we feared that by the time we'd got rid of the rubbish we'd only have brambles left! Even in its scabby neglected state the hedge was always full of birds, an occasional weasel, a rat or two, and countless insects. I'm looking forward to seeing them return as the hedge thickens up. Photo shows our amateurish efforts but we didn't have much to work with and as they say around here "a blind mon 'ud glad ta zee it'. ?
  12. My wife and I laid about 25 yards of our neglected hedge in January - a mix of hawthorn, bit of hazel, something that could be wytch elm too. It's grown pretty well but I'm wondering when to give it a light trim. There's nothing on it in the way of fruit or berries that I could leave for wildlife so I'm wondering whether to do it nowish or late winter. I'd be grateful for your advice please. ?


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