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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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...Taking control


...Classes of tree

...Christmas trees

...Woodland - Planting

>.. - Preserving

... - Established

... - Dedicated

...By products - firewood

... - Other

With the new woodland planted the aim is now to preserve and encourage it and a set routine is entered into.

1. Weeding. For the first few years it is necessary to weed the crop in the summer. Failure to do this means that many of the trees become stunted due to competition from brambles, weed seedlings and the like. The weeding must not be performed too enthusiastically as the plants suffer from sunscorch if they are totally denuded of cover. This is where it becomes more difficult if you use chemical weeders as they tend to leave the ground absolutely clean.

2. Beating Up. This rather hearty expression merely means replacing any plants that have withered and died. The gaps have to be filled with strong-growing plants or else their neighbours grow above them and the newcomers are stunted.

3. Cleaning. This takes place after the canopy has closed. This is the time to remove any tree weeds ones you did not plant. Also remove any overenthusiastic ones that you did you are aiming for even growth.

4. Brashing. This is lopping off spreading side branches that do not allow you to walk through the wood. It only has to be done to just above head height and you may only wish to clear paths, not the whole wood.

5. Pruning. To obtain fine, clean timber, prune before the butt is more than four feet in diameter. This is not always done today as it is a very labour-intensive procedure. For special trees such as the cricket bat willow it is essential.

6. Thinning. As the forest grows it needs thinning. Fast maturing varieties may require thinning every three years, others every five. Thinning does not start until about the twelfth year of growth. There are tables to check by height, age and diameter how many trees need to be removed.