March 8, 2011 | Miriam | 2 Comments Unfortunately the photos from this old post have been lost It is so wonderful to look about these days and see life bursting forth everywhere. There are buds on the trees, birds are singing to attract partners, frogs are singing and have already found their partners. We have been tending to our hedges here over the last week. We are lucky enough to have inherited some great Whitethorn (Hawthorn) hedges on our land, some of which have not been trimmed in perhaps sixty or seventy years. They had become very stringy and were looking a bit top-heavy, especially when they were covered in snow over the winter. In order to prevent breakages due to snow or wind damage but mainly to encourage new growth we cut our top hedge down to about eight foot tall. I am looking forward to seeing the new growth over the next few years as the trees regenerate. Right now we have a lot of thorny branches and trunks to trim, chip, cut and stack. The thinest pieces we are trimming and chipping, leaving cleaner bigger pieces of wood to deal with. We have an electric hand-saw and an electric wood-chipper which have been given lots of use over the last week. Luckily we had plenty of power to run the tools and we only used one at a time which was also the most efficient way for us to work. I trimmed the smaller pieces whilst himself cut the bigger pieces down to workable sizes for me to work with and we created a few different piles of brushwood for chipping which we then both fed into the chipper. The chips are then wheelbarrowed to the gooseberry bed for use as mulch. Once we have a good size stack of timber we start chopping and stacking. The branches are cut to a size that fits our wee stove and stacked to dry for burning next year. We’ve heard that Whitethorn wood burns with a high heat so if next winter is like the one just past then we will be glad of the warmth. When the tree trunks are left for a day or two you can see the moisture dripping out of the cuts. It’s a little sad to be cutting such lovely trees however it helps to know that the wood is all going to good use, firewood and mulch. It’s also both comforting and promising to be building a wood pile for use over next winter and we are hopeful that we will be burning it in our new home, warm and cosy within the walls which we are soon to build.