Our work begins with a landowner gaining a felling licence for the thinning of his or her woodland. Our approach will depend on the species of trees involved and the age of the woodland. Forestry work may include the use of mechanical timber harvesters, and our talented cutting crew to fell and convert the timber. Usually around 30% of the crop will be ‘thinned. This includes removal of any supressed or damaged trees, leaving the bigger, straighter, stronger trees to continue growing to their full potential. Once felled one of our forwarders will remove the timber from the woodland floor and stack it in a prearranged loading area ready for road haulage to various clients.
Hardwoods typically need to be at least 30 years old before thinning takes place. Once at thinning age a regular plan can be put in place based on the yield class of the various species. We typically thin the same compartment every 5 years removing 15-45 tonnes per hectare (depending on the species). We aim to harvest 70% of the annual increment meaning that every successive thinning operation removes less trees from the crop, but the yield stays the same. All remaining trees are given an appropriate amount of crown space in which to grow. Basically, the larger the crown the bigger the butt!
Thinning produces biofuel, as a bi-product of timber production. Ultimately the aim is to produce big straight trees for the various timber markets. These include Oak for furniture, Spruce for fencing, Red Cedar for roofing shingles, Larch for cladding or Ash for things like paint brush handles!!