Good record keeping can make all the difference
THERE IS a famous story about good record keeping from Visingsö. It is the largest island in Vättern Lake in Sweden where an oak forest can be found. In 1829, the Swedish Navy ordered the Forest Service to plant 35ha of oak on Visingsö as they needed oak timber to build new warships.
In an example of outstanding record keeping, the Swedish Forest Service wrote back in 1978 to the Navy informing them that the oak they ordered in 1829 was now ready for collection.
Times had changed in the meantime but this little story does tell us that you need pretty good record keeping to write that letter.
In the last article, I was discussing the importance of formative shaping if you wish to grow quality hardwood timber. I was making the point that this work probably needs to start in the first two to four years of a tree's life.
This is a daunting prospect if you keep in mind that it will take ash or sycamore 60 to 80 years to grow to maturity.
Beech and oak will take even longer.
Let's fast forward 60 years or so and you're now in the lucky position that you have quality timber for sale. How do you prove to a potential timber buyer that the beautiful single, straight stemmed trees you are selling are not hiding any serious defects?
Serious defects such as dead knots are the result of poor or no high pruning. Or maybe cattle, sheep or deer broke into the young woodland damaging stems and branches.