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Further Ramblings of an old Forester

By Peter J Noot


When we go for a walk in the woods do we see the wood for the trees ? Do we interpret what we see, or are we thinking about other things? 


Do I need to put petrol in the car? 

The MOT is due, I must check the lights and tyres.

 Is the dog about to pick a fight with that other dog?

Why is that person wearing those shoes in the forest?


I do ask myself these questions, but many others come to mind.


We went for a walk in the ancient semi natural woodland of The Forest of Bere with my daughter and our grandsons with their dog. the boys decided to build camps in a pine plantation where other camps had been built with all the debris lying about.


Where had all this debris come from?


 It was mainly dead pine branches from forest thinning and small birch being suppressed by the older pine trees.


How old were the pine trees?


I counted the whorls of branches and knots, these trees were nearly 30 years old.


Were they planted after the 1987 storm when many woodlands were devastated?

What was growing here before?


There were some old well rotted broadleaved tree stumps lying about. These were long dead oak stumps and were from the original woodland felled during or after the second world war. 

So the storm damaged plantation that was growing here before, replaced the timber felled for the war effort. There remains little evidence of that previous plantation now. The land shows evidence of being scarified. The old oak stumps had been hooked out of the ground and broken up.


Why do many of the pine trees have forked tops originating about twelve whorls up the trees?


Pigeons, crows or starlings roosting in these trees 17 years ago in the springtime broke the tender new growing leading shoots, so other side shoots took over as leaders creating a deformed stem with multiple shoots.


We moved on having built two camps and we entered an older plantation of western hemlock.


How old were these trees?


There was a cut stump from recent thinning showing 60 annual rings, these rings showed steady even growth for the first 30 years, then the growth rate suddenly increased, this was indicated by wider annual rings for the next 20 years.


What had happened to cause this change in growth rate?


Possibly a thinning had been done, but if that was the case the increased growth would only have lasted for between 5 and 10 years and then ring width would  progressively reduce as the canopy closed.



Something more dramatic had happened. 


The change in growth rate had taken place approximately 30 years ago, at the time of the storm.


Did the 1987 storm take out a greater number of the trees ?


The trees would have been about 30 years old, not normally susceptible to wind damage at the top height achieved at that age. But, the storm of October 1987 was extremely severe, so large pockets of trees may have been damaged by the storm.


This would account for the increase in growth of the remaining trees for a much longer period than expected.  


  Why did the growth rate slow down in the last ten years?


The trees surviving the storm must have closed canopy in 20 years, in conjunction with the development of a broadleaved understory growing up through the remains of the conifer plantation.


My daughter asked the question.


What are those spindly broadleaved trees growing up through the conifers?


They were birch trees, 


How did they survive under the hemlock which casts a dense shade?


They were invigorated by the extra sunlight reaching the forest floor after the wind damage, and grew up within the areas of reduced competition.


But why are the birch trees thin and the hemlock trees fat?


The rapid growth of the hemlock side branches and the extra vigour of the hemlock would eventually out compete the birch and as long as the birch could survive they would remain  thin, tall, and with small  crowns and no side branches. 


We walked down the forest road and saw some old American red oak trees that had been planted along the roadside.


Why were they planted there?


It was one of the plantation design principles in the 50’s and 60’s to plant ornamental trees along the outer edges of conifer plantations, what were we trying to hide?


A large burr oak, about 80 years old was standing proudly by the roadside.


Why did this tree survive the felling operation?


It would have been too young and too small for the war fellings, so it lives to tell it’s own tale and maybe give a woodturner of the future some burrs of great beauty.


   When I asked another walker what they had seen on their walk in the woods,


   They replied that they had been on Facebook all the time and hadn’t seen much at all.

   


Peter J Noot.


2018

September 2018 Newsletter

2018 AGM

Since the inauguration of the club in 1993 this year was our 25th Anniversary Annual General Meeting and was chaired by John Wyatt our present Chairman.


The minutes from the 2017 AGM were approved by the floor with no matters arising.


The Chairman gave his report and thanked all the members of the committee and the club members for their help throughout the past year.


The Secretary gave his report thanking everyone for their help.


Colin Holman the Treasurer started his report by stating that this would be his final report as he was standing down this year.

He presented his financial report to the meeting and after explaining the contents it was accepted by the membership. In the report it was stated that our membership stands at 88 at the present time and is financially sound.

The report was finished with thanks to Eric for auditing the accounts and that it would be his last year of doing so.


The programme report was given by Don as John Webb was unable to attend stating that the programme October 2018 to December 2019 was now fully booked. (This programme is now on the Web-site here).


Dave Hutchings resigned as Webmaster and thanked everyone for their help over the past 8 years.


The presentation of the competition winners came next and each one has been elevated to the Intermediates, they are:-

Novices:

5th Place  Frank Chatfield 244 points

4th Place Brian Bocking with 290 points

3rd Place Don Hall with 298 points

2nd Place Walter Siegerist with 453 points

1st Place Peter Noot with 461 points

Photograph.  Winners named from left to right:  Walter Siegerist - Woodturner of the Year Cup, Nick Rose - Winner Intermediates, John Wyatt - Chairman, Don Hall - Mayor of Havant Shield, Peter Noot - Don Smith Challenge Cup

Election of Officers was next on the Agenda and Dave Reynolds asked for nominations for Chairman; John was proposed and was duly elected.


Dave Reynolds was re-elected as Secretary.


With Colin Standing down nominations were asked for and Mick Sharps was Proposed, Seconded and was accepted by the meeting.


With Rick and Don Smith stepping down this year it was proposed that remaining committee members, John Webb Programme coordinator, Iain Grant Web Shadow, Alan Brown and Dave Moore be elected on block was accepted and passed.


This left the position of webmaster open and a nomination was made that Mike Sharp be duly elected to the position of webmaster which he had been doing since July.


John thanked everyone and closed the meeting and reopened it for any other business.


John stated that SAWS had sent an invitation to the October Open Day saying that we had won 5 of the last six events and would be entering the club again and would like members who have any item/items to be considered for displaying to bring it in at the October meeting.


Next meeting is on 17th October and is Subs Night.


Written and Photographed by Don Smith.

Presentation Photos

Click the picture to see a slideshow

The Impressions of an old Forester

By Peter J Noot


The Storm of October 1987


As we all know the storm of Oct 1987 caused a great deal of damage to property, and disruption to the communities within the area of the storm. In woodland terms the emphasis seemed to be on the harvesting and sale of the timber that was wind thrown, this was linked to the perception that the public wished to see the rehabilitation of the sites that had been damaged.

Timber cleared by the Forestry Commission and by the owners of large areas of woodland satisfied much of the market’s requirement for timber. This allowed them to act quickly and get the best prices available at the time.

Owners of small woodlands if they had no insurance were faced with high costs for clearance, plus a total loss on their investment in the woods, as in many cases the storm damaged trees had no value in the market place. This situation persuaded some owners to convert their woods to agriculture or to horse paddocks.

Forestry Commission grants made a small contribution to the clearance and replanting costs, but payment was not available until the land was restocked. 

This made a small positive impact on the retention of the land as woodland. 

Many owners opted to close the gate and allow the areas to regenerate naturally. The species that regenerated depended on the site conditions, so most of these areas now have a dense thicket of birch or ash. 

Pockets of wind thrown sweet chestnut and oak, still attached to the stump, continue to grow and form areas of primeval monsters.  

The storm created a great diversity in our woodlands, opening up large areas of the woodland floor to the light. This extra light encouraged the growth of many species that were either lying dormant in the soil or were mobile enough to take advantage of the new conditions. This was certainly a very positive effect of the storm. 

Many people see woods in terms of our human lifespan but Foresters should see that our woodlands have a life and timescale of their own, so we must endeavour to ensure that the work we carry out complements the natural processes of woodland development.
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Further Ramblings of an old Forester


When we go for a walk in the woods do we see the wood for the trees ? Do we interpret what we see, or are we thinking about other things? 


Do I need to put petrol in the car? 

The MOT is due, I must check the lights and tyres.

 Is the dog about to pick a fight with that other dog?

Why is that person wearing those shoes in the forest?


I do ask myself these questions, but many others come to mind.


We went for a walk in the ancient semi natural woodland of The Forest of Bere with my daughter and our grandsons with their dog. the boys decided to build camps in a pine plantation where other camps had been built with all the debris lying about.


Where had all this debris come from?


 It was mainly dead pine branches from forest thinning and small birch being suppressed by the older pine trees.


How old were the pine trees?


I counted the whorls of branches and knots, these trees were nearly 30 years old.


Were they planted after the 1987 storm when many woodlands were devastated?

What was growing here before?


There were some old well rotted broadleaved tree stumps lying about. These were long dead oak stumps and were from the original woodland felled during or after the second world war. 

So the storm damaged plantation that was growing here before, replaced the timber felled for the war effort. There remains little evidence of that previous plantation now. The land shows evidence of being scarified. The old oak stumps had been hooked out of the ground and broken up.


Why do many of the pine trees have forked tops originating about twelve whorls up the trees?


Pigeons, crows or starlings roosting in these trees 17 years ago in the springtime broke the tender new growing leading shoots, so other side shoots took over as leaders creating a deformed stem with multiple shoots.


We moved on having built two camps and we entered an older plantation of western hemlock.


How old were these trees?


There was a cut stump from recent thinning showing 60 annual rings, these rings showed steady even growth for the first 30 years, then the growth rate suddenly increased, this was indicated by wider annual rings for the next 20 years.


What had happened to cause this change in growth rate?


Possibly a thinning had been done, but if that was the case the increased growth would only have lasted for between 5 and 10 years and then ring width would  progressively reduce as the canopy closed.



Something more dramatic had happened. 


The change in growth rate had taken place approximately 30 years ago, at the time of the storm.


Did the 1987 storm take out a greater number of the trees ?


The trees would have been about 30 years old, not normally susceptible to wind damage at the top height achieved at that age. But, the storm of October 1987 was extremely severe, so large pockets of trees may have been damaged by the storm.


This would account for the increase in growth of the remaining trees for a much longer period than expected.  


  Why did the growth rate slow down in the last ten years?


The trees surviving the storm must have closed canopy in 20 years, in conjunction with the development of a broadleaved understory growing up through the remains of the conifer plantation.


My daughter asked the question.


What are those spindly broadleaved trees growing up through the conifers?


They were birch trees, 


How did they survive under the hemlock which casts a dense shade?


They were invigorated by the extra sunlight reaching the forest floor after the wind damage, and grew up within the areas of reduced competition.


But why are the birch trees thin and the hemlock trees fat?


The rapid growth of the hemlock side branches and the extra vigour of the hemlock would eventually out compete the birch and as long as the birch could survive they would remain  thin, tall, and with small  crowns and no side branches. 


We walked down the forest road and saw some old American red oak trees that had been planted along the roadside.


Why were they planted there?


It was one of the plantation design principles in the 50’s and 60’s to plant ornamental trees along the outer edges of conifer plantations, what were we trying to hide?


A large burr oak, about 80 years old was standing proudly by the roadside.


Why did this tree survive the felling operation?


It would have been too young and too small for the war fellings, so it lives to tell it’s own tale and maybe give a woodturner of the future some burrs of great beauty.


   When I asked another walker what they had seen on their walk in the woods,


   They replied that they had been on Facebook all the time and hadn’t seen much at all.

   


Peter J Noot.










……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..





Further Ramblings of an old Forester


When we go for a walk in the woods do we see the wood for the trees ? Do we interpret what we see, or are we thinking about other things? 


Do I need to put petrol in the car? 

The MOT is due, I must check the lights and tyres.

 Is the dog about to pick a fight with that other dog?

Why is that person wearing those shoes in the forest?


I do ask myself these questions, but many others come to mind.


We went for a walk in the ancient semi natural woodland of The Forest of Bere with my daughter and our grandsons with their dog. the boys decided to build camps in a pine plantation where other camps had been built with all the debris lying about.


Where had all this debris come from?


 It was mainly dead pine branches from forest thinning and small birch being suppressed by the older pine trees.


How old were the pine trees?


I counted the whorls of branches and knots, these trees were nearly 30 years old.


Were they planted after the 1987 storm when many woodlands were devastated?

What was growing here before?


There were some old well rotted broadleaved tree stumps lying about. These were long dead oak stumps and were from the original woodland felled during or after the second world war. 

So the storm damaged plantation that was growing here before, replaced the timber felled for the war effort. There remains little evidence of that previous plantation now. The land shows evidence of being scarified. The old oak stumps had been hooked out of the ground and broken up.


Why do many of the pine trees have forked tops originating about twelve whorls up the trees?


Pigeons, crows or starlings roosting in these trees 17 years ago in the springtime broke the tender new growing leading shoots, so other side shoots took over as leaders creating a deformed stem with multiple shoots.


We moved on having built two camps and we entered an older plantation of western hemlock.


How old were these trees?


There was a cut stump from recent thinning showing 60 annual rings, these rings showed steady even growth for the first 30 years, then the growth rate suddenly increased, this was indicated by wider annual rings for the next 20 years.


What had happened to cause this change in growth rate?


Possibly a thinning had been done, but if that was the case the increased growth would only have lasted for between 5 and 10 years and then ring width would  progressively reduce as the canopy closed.



Something more dramatic had happened. 


The change in growth rate had taken place approximately 30 years ago, at the time of the storm.


Did the 1987 storm take out a greater number of the trees ?


The trees would have been about 30 years old, not normally susceptible to wind damage at the top height achieved at that age. But, the storm of October 1987 was extremely severe, so large pockets of trees may have been damaged by the storm.


This would account for the increase in growth of the remaining trees for a much longer period than expected.  


  Why did the growth rate slow down in the last ten years?


The trees surviving the storm must have closed canopy in 20 years, in conjunction with the development of a broadleaved understory growing up through the remains of the conifer plantation.


My daughter asked the question.


What are those spindly broadleaved trees growing up through the conifers?


They were birch trees, 


How did they survive under the hemlock which casts a dense shade?


They were invigorated by the extra sunlight reaching the forest floor after the wind damage, and grew up within the areas of reduced competition.


But why are the birch trees thin and the hemlock trees fat?


The rapid growth of the hemlock side branches and the extra vigour of the hemlock would eventually out compete the birch and as long as the birch could survive they would remain  thin, tall, and with small  crowns and no side branches. 


We walked down the forest road and saw some old American red oak trees that had been planted along the roadside.


Why were they planted there?


It was one of the plantation design principles in the 50’s and 60’s to plant ornamental trees along the outer edges of conifer plantations, what were we trying to hide?


A large burr oak, about 80 years old was standing proudly by the roadside.


Why did this tree survive the felling operation?


It would have been too young and too small for the war fellings, so it lives to tell it’s own tale and maybe give a woodturner of the future some burrs of great beauty.


   When I asked another walker what they had seen on their walk in the woods,


   They replied that they had been on Facebook all the time and hadn’t seen much at all.

   


Peter J Noot.



                                               

                                                                                                                                                                The Storm of October 1987


As we all know the storm of Oct 1987 caused a great deal of damage to property, and disruption to the communities within the area of the storm. In woodland terms the emphasis seemed to be on the harvesting and sale of the timber that was wind thrown, this was linked to the perception that the public wished to see the rehabilitation of the sites that had been damaged.

Timber cleared by the Forestry Commission and by the owners of large areas of woodland satisfied much of the market’s requirement for timber. This allowed them to act quickly and get the best prices available at the time.

Owners of small woodlands if they had no insurance were faced with high costs for clearance, plus a total loss on their investment in the woods, as in many cases the storm damaged trees had no value in the market place. This situation persuaded some owners to convert their woods to agriculture or to horse paddocks.

Forestry Commission grants made a small contribution to the clearance and replanting costs, but payment was not available until the land was restocked. 

This made a small positive impact on the retention of the land as woodland. 

Many owners opted to close the gate and allow the areas to regenerate naturally. The species that regenerated depended on the site conditions, so most of these areas now have a dense thicket of birch or ash. 

Pockets of wind thrown sweet chestnut and oak, still attached to the stump, continue to grow and form areas of primeval monsters.  

The storm created a great diversity in our woodlands, opening up large areas of the woodland floor to the light. This extra light encouraged the growth of many species that were either lying dormant in the soil or were mobile enough to take advantage of the new conditions. This was certainly a very positive effect of the storm. 

Many people see woods in terms of our human lifespan but Foresters should see that our woodlands have a life and timescale of their own, so we must endeavour to ensure that the work we carry out complements the natural processes of woodland development.



   Air Pressure chart for the night 








……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..





Further Ramblings of an old Forester


When we go for a walk in the woods do we see the wood for the trees ? Do we interpret what we see, or are we thinking about other things? 


Do I need to put petrol in the car? 

The MOT is due, I must check the lights and tyres.

 Is the dog about to pick a fight with that other dog?

Why is that person wearing those shoes in the forest?


I do ask myself these questions, but many others come to mind.


We went for a walk in the ancient semi natural woodland of The Forest of Bere with my daughter and our grandsons with their dog. the boys decided to build camps in a pine plantation where other camps had been built with all the debris lying about.


Where had all this debris come from?


 It was mainly dead pine branches from forest thinning and small birch being suppressed by the older pine trees.


How old were the pine trees?


I counted the whorls of branches and knots, these trees were nearly 30 years old.


Were they planted after the 1987 storm when many woodlands were devastated?

What was growing here before?


There were some old well rotted broadleaved tree stumps lying about. These were long dead oak stumps and were from the original woodland felled during or after the second world war. 

So the storm damaged plantation that was growing here before, replaced the timber felled for the war effort. There remains little evidence of that previous plantation now. The land shows evidence of being scarified. The old oak stumps had been hooked out of the ground and broken up.


Why do many of the pine trees have forked tops originating about twelve whorls up the trees?


Pigeons, crows or starlings roosting in these trees 17 years ago in the springtime broke the tender new growing leading shoots, so other side shoots took over as leaders creating a deformed stem with multiple shoots.


We moved on having built two camps and we entered an older plantation of western hemlock.


How old were these trees?


There was a cut stump from recent thinning showing 60 annual rings, these rings showed steady even growth for the first 30 years, then the growth rate suddenly increased, this was indicated by wider annual rings for the next 20 years.


What had happened to cause this change in growth rate?


Possibly a thinning had been done, but if that was the case the increased growth would only have lasted for between 5 and 10 years and then ring width would  progressively reduce as the canopy closed.



Something more dramatic had happened. 


The change in growth rate had taken place approximately 30 years ago, at the time of the storm.


Did the 1987 storm take out a greater number of the trees ?


The trees would have been about 30 years old, not normally susceptible to wind damage at the top height achieved at that age. But, the storm of October 1987 was extremely severe, so large pockets of trees may have been damaged by the storm.


This would account for the increase in growth of the remaining trees for a much longer period than expected.  


  Why did the growth rate slow down in the last ten years?


The trees surviving the storm must have closed canopy in 20 years, in conjunction with the development of a broadleaved understory growing up through the remains of the conifer plantation.


My daughter asked the question.


What are those spindly broadleaved trees growing up through the conifers?


They were birch trees, 


How did they survive under the hemlock which casts a dense shade?


They were invigorated by the extra sunlight reaching the forest floor after the wind damage, and grew up within the areas of reduced competition.


But why are the birch trees thin and the hemlock trees fat?


The rapid growth of the hemlock side branches and the extra vigour of the hemlock would eventually out compete the birch and as long as the birch could survive they would remain  thin, tall, and with small  crowns and no side branches. 


We walked down the forest road and saw some old American red oak trees that had been planted along the roadside.


Why were they planted there?


It was one of the plantation design principles in the 50’s and 60’s to plant ornamental trees along the outer edges of conifer plantations, what were we trying to hide?


A large burr oak, about 80 years old was standing proudly by the roadside.


Why did this tree survive the felling operation?


It would have been too young and too small for the war fellings, so it lives to tell it’s own tale and maybe give a woodturner of the future some burrs of great beauty.


   When I asked another walker what they had seen on their walk in the woods,


   They replied that they had been on Facebook all the time and hadn’t seen much at all.

   


Peter J Noot.



Air Pressure chart for the night