Friday, October 13, 2017

Killin Time

Working away from home in the Beautiful area around Loch Tay.

This autumn, the team has been given the opportunity to work with the National Trust for Scotland at Ben Lawers Nature Reserve planting Downy Willow. The project offers some gorgeous views and has allowed us to use our experience with Montane planting to create new habitat on an incredible site. The Treesurv team also had the opportunity to visit the Fortingall Yew, which has been dated at over a 1000 years old and is reckoned by some to be 5-6000 years old and possibly the oldest tre in Britain!

Posted by James on 13/10 at 01:52 PM
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Monday, July 10, 2017

The beginning of Gameshope

Work begins on our latest project.

The team has started preparation for planting on the slopes of Gameshope, this project sets out to plant 80,000 trees up the valley. This site has provided some challenges like accurately setting out compartments on a steep incline and transporting personel and materials across a fast flowing body of water. Whilst posing some difficulties, the project has required us to learn and identify particular species like the Cuckoo Flower or the Orange Tipped Butterfly in order to protect and preserve their habitat whilst planting. We are all very positive about this site and look forward to the start of planting in the autumn.

Posted by James on 10/07 at 04:27 PM
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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Mad March maintenance

Using a quiet day to restore our tractor...

We have are currently carrying out repairs on our venerable Fordson Super Dexta. This small but mighty machine may have rolled off the line in 1962 but it is still used today to split logs and transport materials. The engine is still in great shape but we are currently replacing the rubber hoses as they have become brittle and have started to crack and leak. At Treesurv we seize the chance to learn and so have taken to replacing the hoses ourselves in order to better understand this machine and further our knowledge. 

Posted by James on 01/03 at 04:13 PM
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Tuesday, January 03, 2017

At the helm in 2017

A new project for a new year.

We have brought in 2017 with a new project: planting woodland just outside of Broughton on the slopes above Helmend. This has included a visit to the Nursery and helping an eager Duke of Edinburgh student complete her volunteering work by providing materials and space for her to complete her own project.

 

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Posted by James on 03/01 at 12:01 PM
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The acorn gatherers

 Wonderful day out in the depths of Galloway's ancient oak woodland!

Recently we have been assisting with growing acorns that have fallen from sessile oaks found in the Glen Trool forest park. This is part of a larger effort to grow around 600 000 trees to help restore ancient woodland within Galloway. For more information, read the BBC article on the project here.

 

Posted by James on 14/09 at 10:41 AM
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Saturday, April 04, 2015

Milestone number of trees planted

Talla Bank, the day we planted past the 100,000 mark

It has been a challenging planting season so far and the team have endured some horrendous weather conditions along the way. The first trees went in the ground at Talla Bank on the 5th November and yesterday we planted our way past the 100,000 mark- a huge thanks to all the team.

 

Posted by James on 04/04 at 01:37 PM
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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Talla tunes

Live lunchtime music session

Somewhere up on the hill in the mist there where a group of tree planters listening to live music- wonder when or for that matter if there has ever been someone playing an instrument on the high slopes above Talla before?

Posted by James on 30/11 at 10:43 PM
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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

On a new frontier

Something a bit different!

50 mature Larch infected with phytophthora ramorum converted in to a frontier style cabin. Built over 4 weeks during the summer this was a project that caught the imagination of all that were involved. The build team camping on site and living a lifestyle, minus chainsaws, that would not have been unrecognisable to someone living on the American frontier 200 hundred years ago.

  

Posted by James on 07/10 at 09:17 PM
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Talla Bank

Our next planting project

Since the start of August we have be working on our next planting project. The site is on the hill above Talla reservoir and the task- plant 160000 native trees, a bit of a challange and not for the faint hearted. The slopes are about as extreme as you can get for this sort of work, the views on your way to the top make the walk from the lower slopes worth it.

 

Posted by James on 07/10 at 08:51 PM
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Friday, February 07, 2014

Treesurv at the North Gasherbrum Glacier

K2 Base Camp & Gasherbrum Base Camp 2013

September 2013- Paul was on a 38 day expedition to the Gasherbrum Glacier where this picture was taken and then on to the K2 Base camp, the same camp used as Younghusband in 1887 and then Shipton in 1937.

Posted by James on 07/02 at 04:55 PM
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Work in Progress

Native planting used to screen new development.

Our latest planting project is a great opportunity to establish some pockets of native woodland with all the benifits that that brings and at the same time be utilised to screen a new farm development.

We have however intermixed a few Norway Spruce into this planting scheme to act as a nurse to help the main body of the planting establish. The Norway Spruce can then be removed once the other trees are large enough, this will allow more room for the remaining trees and create some 'natural' clearings.

 

This planting season has so far been a lot easier than last year; At this time last year we were having to make a daily expedition in the Argo to Lochanburn (Corehead). This year however so far we have been working on lower ground where we have the luxury of being able to park the vehicles right next to the planting areas. A recent trip to Lochanburn has revealed that the Bothy did not survive the gales before Christmas, the winds at that altitude on exposed ground must have been well in excess of 100 mph. A rebuild seems like a good excuse for a weekends camping in native woodland during the warmer weather!

Posted by James on 07/02 at 04:18 PM
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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Beech infected with Meripilus Giganteus

Giant Polypore, Meripilus giganteus

Aswell as structural damage (loss of co-leader) some years ago this Beech tree had been infected by Giant Polypore, Meripilus giganteus.

This parasitic fungi can cause extensive internal damage before any external evidence of presence can be seen. It infects and grows on the roots and the trunk base of the host broadleaf, particularly Beech. Infection occurs via wounded or damaged tissue, the fungi establishes on deadwood before attacking the tree's living tissue. The first evidence of infection can be crown dieback or defoliation (as in this case). Bracket like fruiting bodies are produced in late summer or autumn at the base of the stem or from the ground immediately above any infected roots. 

With this tree an infection had been confirmed by the presence of fruiting bodies late last summer and felling was considered a requirement as the tree is located in a public access area and as decay progresses the tree weakens and the root anchorage fails. 

Stem girth at 1.5m was 4.52m

Posted by James on 05/02 at 02:24 PM
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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Colours early in the year

Signs that Spring is just around the corner

We have had a busy time both before and after the Christmas holidays tidying up the damage caused by the strong winds and the work is still continuing. This time of year is always a bit difficult with the short hours of daylight and the inevitable poor weather. But through last week we came across these Snowdrops, a sure sign that spring is just around the corner; longer daylight hours and maybe some warmth. 

We have also seen  Witch-Hazel (Hamamelis) flowering over the last week, a good shrub to have in the garden for a splash of colour on a dreary day. On that note I also have to mention Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum) with its bright pink flowers. Flowering as the leaves emerge the colours announce the arrival of early spring.

Posted by James on 26/01 at 10:01 PM
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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Felling from a different level

Felling of a Co-Leader at 50 feet

Trees that have suffered structural damage are sometimes to dangerous to section down using climbing techniques. This mature tree had suffered a sever lateral fracture through the main bifurcation in the stem. To deal with this tree safely we had to use an Acces Platform (Cherry Picker) to remove all of the crown from above the fracture point. 

This film shows us felling one of the co-leaders out of tree. From a safety point of view; We were absolutley certian that the weighting of this leader would mean that it would fall away from us. We had identified a possible internal fracture at the point where we were making the felling cut and we were able to get an apporpriate angle on the hinge to deal with this.  On the ground we had cleared all obstacles and had ground staff to stop any movement of people or vehicles during the operation.

 

Posted by James on 06/11 at 04:21 PM
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Felling with the Tifor winches

Felling a Leaning Spruce.

Spruce can be notorious for suffing from root plate lift in strong winds, this one was no exception. This Spruce was located in a small stand of trees, on a slope near the gable end of a house. There are power lines running between the house and the trees. The tree was leaning in the direction of the house and lines. As it happens this tree is being supported by the surrounding trees and they are stopping it from going over. How do you tackle something like this? This is the approach we chose to take!

Firstly closely inspect the tree to make sure that it can be dealt with safely in the way that we want to deal with it. 

Climb the tree removing the limbs from the direction it is going to be felled; remove the limbs from the ground up to a point where they are in contact with the surrounding trees, these will be under tension! Having these limbs removed allowed us a space to attach winch wires to the stem so that they have a clear line towards our anchored winches. Two winch wires are attached to the stem, one about two thirds the way up this 60-70ft tree, the second about 6ft below the first. Why two winch wires? The first and highest is the one that will be used to pull the tree over it being high up the stem gives maximum leverage. The direction of fell is across the slope. The problem is trying to control a tree like this with a compromised root plate. There is a chance that as the tree is being pulled to the vertical that it might start to veer downslope; fall along the fence line damaging the fence landing in a position that would be difficult to deal with. A second winch was therefore to be used, it being placed up-slope 45 degrees from the line of fell. The theory being as the tree is pulled to the vertical on the first winch the second winch is kept tensioned so the tree can not head downslope. Once the tree is beyond vertical and heading in the line of pull towards the first winch, also guided by the direction of the felling cut, the second winch wire looses tension but would still restrict the tree falling downslope.  The result was a tree safely on the ground. All that remains would be to tidy up.

     

Leaning tree with cleaned stem, 2nd wire visible.                Second Tirfor winch.

Posted by James on 13/08 at 08:10 PM
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