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May 14, 2015 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley woodland management

Apley poplar felling

Apley poplar felling

2015-05-13, Poplar felling

Apley Estate poplar felling

Gavin was out & about on the Estate earlier this week & sent me these photos of a machine felling the poplar in a spinney (a small area of wood). Poplar was extensively planted in the post war years because it grows fast & is suitable for wet areas. A lot was contracted for match manufacture (boxes of matches) & also decks on lorries (as it does not splinter). Unfortunately these uses have disappeared in Britain (eg cheaper lighters) so the trees are worthless. They are now fully mature & as they’re brittle, they are liable to snap in the wind making a mess & causing a high clearing/ tidying cost. Also they are not aesthetically suitable for the Park, being a non-native species. As a woodland tree they are taking up space which could be used by more valuable wood & a native species.

Therefore we were delighted to be recently approached by a business who will use this timber. Smaller parts for chipping (as in the photos) & saw logs¹ for export for furniture manufacture. The chips are being trucked to Yorkshire as biomass fuel. The chipping machine is one of 5 in existence & the only one in the UK. It filled a 27 tonne truck in less than 1 hour‎. Gavin said it was amazing to see !

¹ Saw logs is the term for straight lengths of log which go to be sawn into planks/ other timber cuts.

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