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Author Topic: Bad week  (Read 1233 times)

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Offline timberuk

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Bad week
« on: November 02, 2001, 01:16:48 PM »
Hi all,

Haven't been on for a few's why....

You may recall I had 250,000 trees to plant this season; well, as a result of receiving 2 phone calls, that dropped to 70,000.

The first job was lost because the guy who owns the land forgot to get it ploughed in the late summer, and the ground is now too wet to work a machine on.

The second job is off because the local bird-watching society have decided they want to do a survey of ground-nesting birds in April, before it's planted. By the time they finish, it will be too late to plant.

So, if any of you would like to employ 3 highly experienced and competent tree-planters..let me know! All we need is a decent wage, the air-fare, somewhere to sleep, lots of food, etc., etc. Oh, and a hire-car.

Anyway, one a different theme, an insight into UK trees...

The main difference between us and you is that we only have about 30 native species of tree. The Ice Age, about 12,000 years ago, wiped out most of the flora, and the formation of the Channel between England and mainland Europe prevented tree migration. So any species that didnt get here by itself is regarded as an alien, and despised by purists. Non-foresters hate Sitka, for example. It was planted in straight rows in square blocks on bare hillsides. The fact that it was practically the only species that would produce timber on these sites was disregarded, as was the fact that we only supply about 10% of our own timber. They were happy to see Scots pine, of course..a native, in fact the only native conifer, but it just wasnt fast or stable enough on these wet sites. Same applies to Sycamore. It grow like crazy here, and produces clean timber. But it too is an alien, so it is frowned upon. One of the jobs I have at the moment is to remove Western Red Cedar and sycamore that is growing beneath oak, ash and hazel. Left for another 10 years or so, and we would be getting good timber from it. But no, the ecologists want the job done now, so its all going to waste. Sound familiar?

Anyway, I have calls to make to try and dig up some replacement planting. Have a good weekend, all.


I don't do it for the money, so it must be for the love.

Offline Tom

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Re: Bad week
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2001, 01:28:58 PM »
Good luck on lost pay, Norman.  Yes, we all are familiar with the awry plans of ecologist whackos who forget that Man lives on this planet too.  

I saw a car from California pass through Florida last year with a bumber sticker that made me howl with laughter.  The landowners out there have been having a battle with the ecologist over the Spotted Owl population as you may have heard.

         Out of Toilet Paper?  Use and Owl!

Offline swampwhiteoak

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Re: Bad week
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2001, 01:43:12 PM »
Sorry to hear about your luck.  Losing big jobs can definitely hurt.  But on the bright side, you'll have more time to tell people on the other side of the Atlantic more about forestry over there.

I remember you saying that you only hand plant.  I usually only recommend hand planting for difficult sites with steep slopes.  Is the soil over there too rocky to machine plant?  I ask because I can't imagine plowing a big hillside.  Are there laws against chemical site prep?  I'd just plant and follow up with a chemical overspray.

You should just tell the enviromentalists that you are restoring the native diversity that the big mean glacier wiped out.  I guess it's the same everywhere Humans=bad, no humans=good.

I got a few hundred acres that I still need to find a contractor to plant, but I don't think it's worth 3 plane tickets to the landowners.  Sorry. :(

Offline timberuk

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Re: Bad week
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2001, 12:23:16 AM »
OK, swampwhiteoak, forget the tickets..we'll swim :D                                                                              
Ploughing is unusual these days. It used to be common practice on peat sites, to aid drainage and provide a raised planting site. The plough itself was a huge trailed affair, pulled by a crawler, which produced 2 furrows 6 feet apart with a drain in the middle. But it was found that this system often led to early windblow, as the roots simply followed the furrow rather than into the soil beneath. So if one tree went down, it pulled the whole row down with it. Also, these peat sites are now recognised as  important sites in their own right, so planting is rarely approved on them. The reason for ploughing this particular site is that it was an old waste site. Its had very poor topsoil dumped on top, so it was decided to spread treated sewage waste, which was all done for free, and plough it in.

As for other sites..
1. If it's a virgin natural site, no ground prep. Its unusual to get this type these days, as it's removing it from agriculture. We subsidise farmers to the hilt. Makes me sooooooo mad!!!

2. A reclaimed site, such as a spoil heap of some kind, will often have compaction, or an ironpan. These are normally ripped.

3. Restocking sites are usually mounded at the appropriate spacing. I was planting an old Sitka area yesterday that was mounded at 2770/ha. The mounds, maybe a foot high and 2ft in diameter, provide a raised planting site above the brash (slash to you) and some weed supression. We are not allowed to burn slash any more.
Re. chemicals...Roundup is used extensively. I have to give some areas 3 treatments a year. If the owner can afford it, I also use Kerb (propyzamide) in the winter to give the trees a weed-free start in the Spring.

btw, as a result of a couple of calls, Ive picked up 30,000 trees-worth of planting. All is not lost!!!

I don't do it for the money, so it must be for the love.


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Re: Bad week
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2001, 12:49:19 PM »
I have an idea TimberUK! 8) 8) :o  How 'bout if we send all our U.S. tourist over there with bags of American native tree seeds. Then the tourist could scatter them about as they take in the sights.  As these seeds take root, the Purists will then have to hire you to go pull them up. If we could start a system like that, it should keep you with plenty of work. How 'bout it?;D

As for government subsidies to farmers, the UK doesn't have anything over the U.S.  Do you know how to tell which grave is a farmer's grave?  A farmer's grave is the one with the....hand out. :D

Here's something you might enjoy.

Honorable Secretary of Agriculture,
Washington D.C.

Dear sir,

My friend, Ed Peterson over at Wells, Iowa, received a check for $1000 from the government for not raising hogs. So I want to go into the  'not raising hogs'  business next year too.

What I want to know is, in your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on, and what is the best breed of hogs not to raise? I want to be sure that I approach this endeavor in keeping with all government policies. I would prefer not to raise Razorbacks, but if that is not a good breed not to raise, then I will just as gladly not raise Yorkshires or Durocs.

As I see it, the hardest part of this program will be in keeping an accurate inventory of how many hogs I haven't raised.

My friend, Peterson, is very joyful about the future of the business. He has been raising hogs for 20 years or so, and the best he ever made on them was $422 in 1988 -- until this year, when he got your check for $1000 for not raising hogs.

If I can get $1000 for not raising 50 hogs, will I get $2000 for not raising 100 hogs? If so, I plan to operate on a small scale  at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 hogs not raised, which will mean about $80,000 the first year. Then I can afford an airplane.

Now, another thing, these hogs I will not raise will not eat 100,000 bushels of corn. I understand that you also pay farmers for not raising corn or wheat. Will I qualify for payments for not raising wheat and corn not to feed the 4,000 hogs I am not going to raise?  

I want to get started as soon as possible as this seems to be a good time of the year not to raise hogs and grain.

Also, I am considering the "not milking cows" and "not making hay" business, so send me any information the USDA has on that too.

In view of these circumstances, you understand that I will be totally unemployed and plan to file for unemployment benefits, food stamps and one of those tax dodges for the rich.

Be assured you will have my vote in the coming election! And thank you for your support.

Patriotically yours,
A. Nonymous
Farmertown, USA

P.S.  Would you please notify me when you plan to distribute more free cheese?
"Everybody was gone when I arrived but I decided to stick around until I could figure out why I was there !"

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