You can see our previous marking and tree thinning from 2008-9 here
I’ve been busy last week presenting an update at college (I will share this in my next post) of my long term art & ecology project which is really all about ‘seeing the forest’, to understand a practice of deep sustainability.
However I didn’t realise this week we would be having our forest thinned – its second thinning. Its been overdue and on an off-chance I had rung my forester last week to see if he had any time to do the work in the next month or so. But turned out he had a slot free immediately before a big job and it all happened over the weekend and yesterday. Martin and I ‘marked’ the trees for removal on Sunday and then Sean and Connor felled the trees yesterday. And the weather was perfect.
We are still struggling with the volume of firewood from our first thinning in January 2009 but its all good to have and we do sell some of the firewood to neighbours now. Thinning the forest means that trees are less cramped and therefore less stressed. This is important for their disease resistance and the resilience of the forest as a whole, particularly when thinking about preventative measures against diseases, such as the recent Ash die-back disease. Thinning is also important to help shade intolerant species, such as the naturally regenerating Ash and our planted Sitka spruce that in some areas of our forest had been completely shaded out and outgrown by the Alder (a faster growing pioneer on our site than the Sitka). We removed quite a bit of Alder as you can see in the photos above.
Then I got an email last night to say our small forest is to be inspected this Friday! Crikey, I have our forest, all 2.5 acres of it, listed on the new COFORD (Ireland’s Forest Research organisation) database of plantations that are being transformed into permanent (non clearfell), mixed age, mixed species, forests. This is a new database listing forests around the country that are being managed using Low Impact Sivicultural Systems (LISS). Our wee forest, the smallest listed has been randomly selected and will be visited by some of Ireland’s top foresters this Friday – I will report back.
Any comments very welcome!
- practicalities: transformation of a conifer plantation to a forest (ecoartfilm.com)
- Not being able to see the trees for the wood (ecoartfilm.com)
- Permanent forests: with close to nature-continuous cover forestry (ecoartfilm.com)
- Victorian forestry is definitely not ecologically sustainable (theconversation.edu.au)