Christmas comes to the woods

The woodland Christmas tree

A special tree tucked away in the woods.

Whilst working on one of our sites, looking for a tree for the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, we came across this ready decorated one in the depths of the wood.  It is rather past its best though and we didn’t think we’d be able to drag it out with its tinsel and decorations intact.  In the end, we found something a bit fresher for the Winter Fair.  The Winter Fair tree is also appearing at Hay School as each year we offer the tree to one of the local schools that we are involved with.

The slightly larger item in the news recently has been that of ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea).  Currently, the effects are mostly being seen in the south east of the UK and in new plantings.  The most up to date information can be found on the Forestry Commission website
For us here in Mid & SE Wales, we don’t currently have any confirmed cases and there are none in the area at the time of writing.  Heading into winter, having had a few hard frosts, the disease is now in a dormant state until spring.
We’ll be keeping an eye out for the signs of disease and you can too.  The Forestry Commission have a video guide and a pictorial guide to help identify infected trees.

The University of East Anglia have created the AshTag app for most smart phones to help you record suspected cases for verification and notification.  Available for Android and Apple phones.

November milling 2012

Round, square and firewood.

We’ve been out milling timber again.  This time the order was for material to renew the decking outside our base camp – familiar to any of you that have joined us on a working holiday  or rented the base camp for a weekend.

Dan-y-Gyrn deck

The woods team are helping out our newly acquired property Tredegar House  next month.  We’ll be heading down to help get them going on their tree surveys around the site.  Last week we met up with them to help out removing some tricky trees on their boundary with the neighbouring factory.

December will have us running all over the place, making sure customers get their deliveries and that buyers collect their timber before the Christmas close down.  Somewhere amongst all this, if we can find the time, we hope to surface some of the new tracks at Pont-ar-Daf that provide a safer link path between Storey Arms and Pont-ar-Daf as well as our access track to help us get in and manage the woods.

It is also thank-you and goodbye to Peter our woodland volunteer.  He has helped us plant, fence, spray, build, chop, fix, dig and most enjoyably, fell trees.  We wish him the best in his new work.  If this sounds like your thing, keep an eye out, we’ll start looking for a new woods volunteer in the New Year.

See you out there,
The Woods Team.


Hopefully this one will stay up…

Pont ar Daf Ash tree reduction

Pont ar Daf ash tree after canopy reduction.

We’ve done some reduction work on the ash tree at Pont-ar-Daf today.

With all the larch removed as part of the phytophthora ramorum control, it was looking a bit exposed to the wind.

Reducing the crown size will hopefully make it a bit less sail like and prevent it from being blown over.

In the spring it will hopefully send out lots of new growth, to form a new, tighter, canopy.

Woods team.