Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Ashes

No not the cricket, although that has been riveting watching, listening and googling, but a row of Ash trees in one of our orchards.  The trees have not been pollarded (trimmed) for a number of years and so whilst we were replacing the fence line we trimmed up two of the trees.  We didn't do all of the row in order to keep some existing habitat for the wildlife in the area.  We'll get back to those in 4 or 5 years or so.  Some of the wood will be dried out and used as firewood.  The tops and some smaller branches will be left to rot down in the field where they will provide food and habitat for a wide range of insects, fungi, mammals and bacteria, all living in and feeding on the decaying material.  They are very old trees and host a wide range of insects and birds.  There is even a little owl living in one of the hollows. 

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