Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Trading Skills - Orchard Renovation

My friend Sean who did the plastering when we renovated the living room, didn't want payment when he did the work for me, instead he wanted to have some favours in the bank for work he wanted done at his place. I almost prefer this trading of skills rather than handing over money - the trouble is I assumed he'd want my carpentry skills!
 Sunday morning I went to his to begin to pay him back. In the recent storms he had a plum tree half blown over and caught up in a pine tree next to it. This is in his little 1 acre orchard that's not had any work done to the trees in a long while.
The tree, although not massive, was in a quite a dangerous place as the weight of them was being supported by a few branches of this other tree. It had to come down with my help or fall down sometime soon.
 Although I have a chainsaw I'm no expert, unlike my tree surgeon brother, but luckily I've worked with him enough to know what to do and how to approach the job. I must say that since buying our smallholding my skills with a chainsaw have increased dramatically! 
I slowly worked on the tree making sure I tidied up as I went along, to reduce the number of hazards I was working around, and this way I was just left with the branches that were hung up in the other tree with nothing else obstructing them.
 Then it was a simple matter of a few well placed cuts and letting it fall to the ground. I was quite pleased with myself that it went so well!
 I then logged it up for Sean and left him with a big pile of brash to clean up!
Before I went we set our "tree karma" straight and planted three trees that I had brought with me to replace the one that was cut down. We planted a cherry, pear and apple, the apple. Sean's son Oliver  helped, he seemed to really enjoy digging the holes and getting the trees in - I wonder if he wants to help me plant a couple of hundred willow cuttings?

14 comments:

  1. Bartering skills is the self sufficient way to go Kev. If Oliver enjoys helping you, you could then send him over to us to help with our new willow planting!

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    1. I was think about getting over to mine to help with the same thing. I've got a couple hundred willows to put in!

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  2. There's nothing better than a swapping of skills and tree karma.

    Lovely Hubby went round to our neighbours last week to finishing felling and tidying up a large tree bang in the middle of her garden that had succumbed to the winds. She has been a godsend to us with her local knowledge and when she asked him how much the job would cost her he was happy to settle for half a dozen demi johns and some wine bottles that she had mentioned wanting to get rid of.

    Our tree karma ... well it's a bit delayed but we are planting some next week to hopefully provide the screening for the polytunnel, when we finally get it. But it will be nice to get some trees in to be going along with.

    I think your brother would be very proud of your work, a lovely neat bit of tree surgery there :-)

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    1. It's always good to help neigbours. We've got some good ones here who I'll happily help out when they want. Our one neighbour, Ken, is full of local knowledge, like you said yours is, and it comes in so handy and can save no end of work in the long run.

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  3. Do you think trees should have a life expectancy and felled if they are dangerous, Kev? I am not saying we should go round felling every old tree. But fallen trees cause lots of damage and put all our insurance premiums up. I notice a lot of the fallen trees in coastal areas are conifers. These are said to be unsuitable be cause they are fan like and not deciduous like native species. At least there is lots of firewood available.

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    1. I think that people really need to change the way they look at trees. I love them but when they're ready to go they should be cut down. You don't look at a crop of wheat when it's ready and think it's too nice to cut down. I also think a lot more should be cropped regulary but people just don't know enough about it.
      I remember felling a large oak with my brother (sorry if I've already told you this), as part of a coppice management course. I posted it on Facebook and people got their knickers in a twist about me cutting down an old oak. What they didn't realise that this wood was full of oaks all of the same age so in 50-100 years there would be none left as they would have all got too old and died just because it hadn't been managed properly. Mind you when the average person can't tell their oak from ash what chance do we stand!

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  4. It is nice when tree cutting goes well, a little planning goes a long way. Nothing like getting a saw hung up in a tree through pinching. That was a good size plum.

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    1. I haven't dione that on my own yet bt I have with my brother! I thnk it happens to everyone at some point. then it's just time to get the bow saw out!

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  5. If the economy collapses, barter may become the bulk of the new economy.

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    1. I doubt it though as there are too few people with real skills anymore!

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  6. Good work Kev, I can see I've taught you well!

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    1. Cheers Bro, It's sinking in slowely!

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  7. Sounds like a good deal both ways, much better than money changing hands.

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    1. I agree. and he's a good friend to me so I help him anyway really!

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