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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • I guess something i never consider is storing wood, were all mindfull of storing fuel for our cars vans and heating appliances, boilers etc but somehow wood escapes me, is generally in a heap rotting away, if i dedicated time to storing wood properly and building a decent wood store or shed it would kind of make sense.

  • seasoning firewood doesn’t need to be high tech, it does need to be protected from two legged foxes, like any commodity. However, timber stacks can take on many forms, even creating walls to a campground or compound. Some logs if exposed to the rain (top rows) can deteriorate, start to rott down, but covering the top of stacks with tin sheets, canvas or plastic will reduce this.
    mechanised splitting of large diameter logs/buts speed up seasoning/reducing moisture. Year three selling year one firewood.

    Maybe the government need to reduce VAT on seasoned firewood to deter rogue firewood suppliers.

    PS. In 2001-2004 Councils, Local Authorities paid over £30 per load to dispose of roadside/amenity trees at landfill sites. So there’s money to be made if folk are brave enough to put a chain or blade through some of these trees and process it for firewood.

  • Thats nuts landfill!

    I always think industrial, ie big warehouses big racks acres of concrete.

    be better if wood was processed sold and stamped by registered solid or wood traders, maybe if you had a wood you would season your timber then process it into pallets ie its the storage of the fuel i guess from tree to fire or stove thats key, natural drying is greener ie let it season and dry during the summer months, then process when ready. then i guess store in racks either on site at a yard before sale or when moisture content correct.

  • article taken from the guardian

    Trees on commercial UK plantations 'not helping climate crisis'

    Exclusive: carbon from most harvested wood soon ends up back in atmosphere, says study

    Patrick Barkham


    Tue 10 Mar 2020 10.00 GMTLast modified on Tue 10 Mar 2020 10.05 GMT

    Shares 15

    Timber at a British sawmill

    Timber at a British sawmill. Carbon is released again if trees are harvested and the wood is burned or used in products with short lifespans. Photograph: Shenval/Alamy

    Commercial tree plantations in Britain do not store carbon to help the climate crisis because more than half of the harvested timber is used for less than 15 years and a quarter is burned, according to a new report.

    While fast-growing non-native conifers can sequester carbon more quickly than slow-growing broadleaved trees, that carbon is released again if the trees are harvested and the wood is burned or used in products with short lifespans, such as packaging, pallets and fencing.

    Of the UK’s 2018 timber harvest, 23% was used for wood fuel, while 56% was taken to sawmills. Only 33% of the wood used by sawmills was for construction, where wood used in permanent buildings can lock in carbon for decades. Much of sawmill wood was used for fencing (36%) with a service life of 15 years, or packaging and pallets (24%) or paper (4%).

    “There is no point growing a lot of fast-growing conifers with the logic that they sequester carbon quickly if they then go into a paper mill because all that carbon will be lost to the atmosphere within a few years,” said Thomas Lancaster, head of UK land policy at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which commissioned the report. “We should not be justifying non-native forestry on carbon grounds if it’s not being used as a long-term carbon store.”

    Rare and declining species such as the curlew cannot survive close to plantations




    Rare and declining species such as the curlew cannot survive close to plantations. Photograph: Sandra Standbridge/Alamy

    The Committee on Climate Change has called for 1.5 billion new trees by 2050 – requiring planting on 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of land a year, increasing Britain’s forest cover from 13% to 19%.


    Many of these new forests will also provide a commercial timber crop. But the scientific review by the ecologist Ellie Crane of how forestry can best address the climate and biodiversity crisis finds that there is no simple solution in Britain.

    The best place for non-native conifers to quickly sequester carbon is on intensively farmed lowland but this high-quality agricultural land is too expensive for forestry to make financial sense for landowners.

    Planting conifers on the cheapest land such as the blanket bogs of Scotland’s Flow Country is “disastrous” for biodiversity, according to Lancaster, but also leads to carbon emissions because the bogs are drained for forestry and the peat degrades, releasing carbon into the atmosphere.


    Replanting Britain: 'It’s about the right tree in the right place'

    Read more

    This leaves “shallow peat” moorlands of western Scotland, south and mid-Wales and parts of the Lake District and the Pennines as the most likely locations for new carbon-sequestering forests. Here, the RSPB has concerns about the impact on wildlife. Rare and declining species such as the curlew that breed on open moorland cannot survive close to plantations, which become home to predators of their chicks such as crows.

    While the best option for wildlife and slower but long-term carbon sequestration is to plant broadleaved woodlands in the right locations and leave them intact, if Britain does not produce its own timber it will import more – in effect exporting its carbon footprint overseas.

    “It’s clearly not just a question of more trees equals a safer climate. Trees in the wrong place could exacerbate climate change and biodiversity decline,” said Lancaster. “There’s also a big question around the capacity of Natural England and regulatory bodies in Scotland and Wales and the forestry commissions to properly assess what impact any planting schemes will have on nature, both good and bad, and on the climate.

    “If we’re serious about tackling the climate and ecological emergency there needs to be a huge government investment in capacity to get that right, otherwise we’re going to have lots of inappropriate planting which could be negative for the climate as well as biodiversity.”

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  • That article makes a massive amount of sense, it answers all the questions i have needed answering for years, theres a big push to plant trees on moorland, and bogs, this i ve always thought is a questionable idea, ie the bogs retain water, like a massive sponge, and store carbon, but moors are burnt to often they do need burning but sometimes gamekeepers go to far in my opinion, however planting trees yes would be great for run off but in times of drought they either die or suck all the water up drying the bogs up, and also may create a tinderbox effect.

    I am on the fence on non natives trees, we did have a massive reserve of timber planted by hard working people before and during and after the wars, making the uk nearly self sufficient in timber, though arguably the timber was of not as good quality (ie thats that home grown crap was often a phrase id hear off old joiners) as say slower grown Russian or Scandanavian timber due to there colder climate, (maybe that why we grow a lot of timber in scotland who knows eh)

    But what i did find if dried right and stored right and reguralised correctly home grown timber was ok for stud walls (obvs they do need to be straight) and roof and laths, (still scandanavian was always better).

    I d argue that we still need home grown fast ish growing timber for say sterling board, (timber framing and flat roofs) and general joining and building work and lets face it we prob still need fencing as it would be nuts to import timber for that surely with questionable sourcing.

    but possibly we should have a mixture, some plantations for timber with a bit of decious or native stuff here and there?:shrug:

  • for all the extra tree planting since 1995 and including any millennium project tree planting to date. The UK still has less than THREE WEEKS supply of wood (standing trees) should we fell and use every last mother fker tree for roof, egg boxes, cornflake boxes, tabloids and bog paper. Every use of timber or wood pulp we rely on in our day to day factory of domestic and industrial bliss, would be used up by the end of week ***3*** So gee, slow growing trees in the millions of square miles of tundra forest is and will always be in great demand to meet our own needs here in the U.K as we continue to be the 2nd largest importer of timber in da word!!!

  • Wow never new that we were the 2nd largest importer, has this always been so? I know that imported timber was always better, most came to merchants on hull docks and the ports.

    Did the mass planting by the old hands do any good? (ie did we reap any rewards for thier efforts or did we just burn there good work on stoves) after all they grafted hard planting them by hand.

  • gee, the UK grew amazing Oak, Beech, Elm, Scots Pine In abundance. Our Forests were raped to build Castles, ships, houses etc. Industrial revolution created hugue demand for timber on our remaining forests. 2 world wars then left us short of stock for mining coal, pit props etc needed to produce coal to make Iron/steel to manufacture the war machines. The FC was responsible for planting fast growing tree crops to replace losses. Conservation and opening of north sea oil brought new energy potential so we looked at restoring native forests. Like you say, slow growing hardwood has a quality unequaled to the fast growing softwoods planted in haste. Climate and hydrology also plays a huge part in timber quality/ density.
    Stradivarius violins renowned for their excellence can be placed growing at a optimum time when climate suited sycamore trees creating wood of a density unmatched to date. Yes the violin makers brought something special to these instruments, but without that “quality” of “those trees” we could replicate the same instruments today with ease.

    in medieval times, we exploited Yew trees for the English longbow. Eventually it became law that no ship shall return from Europe without a being laden with suitable Yew for bow making.
    The British have exploited timber resources from all over the empire and now world.

    In 200 years, there will be magnificent hardwood trees growing in the UK to stand against any from anywhere. The very name English Oak, like English Leather, sings quality.

    We can grow sustainable timber, we need to appreciate the carbon storage link though. While growing they are working for us, when purposed and protected in construction they retain carbon. If they rott or burn, carbon is released back into the system.

  • I am with you on that hardwood, but we also in my opinion need the softwoods as well, that my be a differance in opion to you, but working in the trade, i have found later stuff properly seasoned and dried softwoods to be a smite better than the crap i used to use as a lad, (i dont use much timber theese days) sterling board has come into its own, it is utter crap if it gets wet but it is sometimes useful for flat roofs (ive done the odd fibreglass one in the last few years).

    So there is demand now for softwoods surely we should harvest and plant softwoods as well to meet demand rather than a total import, leaving us open to market forces

    While most hate the norway spruce and the fast growing softies i do look with admiration at the fact of the scale of work planting them and the use we did get out of them, all be it from a grumbling joiner or two.

    Ive done the odd roof or two with home grown it wasnt the best but the roofs are still standing some was very local timber put through a wood mizer, that stuff was garbage but the farmer was tight on that job and to be fair the place is still there although plastering the ceiling was a nightmare and we wouldnt gaurantee the ceiling it for cracking, robin hoods bow was straighter was one comment.

    (not the ceiling the ceiling joists)

  • I’ve nothing against softwoods or plantations of the things. we do need them and use them for timber and recreation. There’s good sites to plant these “crop” trees. In years gone by FC planted allover the mountains in Scotland and Wales to some extent. Without thought of timber extraction difficulties. Some forests in Scotland are now mature. But to build infrastructure to remove the trees is not economic.
    statistically. We grow timber at a loss when we can import it cheaper, especially softwood from Russia etc.

    I was of the opinion that these non native pines we have plantations of have very little wildlife value. However 20 years ago it was found that the the diversity of spider species were greater in these types of forest than we had expected. What we have to worry about is diseases that wipe out vast swathes of the same tree species plantations.

  • Maybe this should be another thread, but do like learning about stuff like this, I guess when the trees were planted all those years ago, manual labour was cheap and disposable, and maybe the use of horses as well to get trees dragged out, or they just went planting mad not really thinking of gradients danger etc, who knows there might be a "bank" of forestry wood that is one day harvestable, when we run out of fuel or oil or and "E" harvester is devoloped.

  • We always have two or three bags full in the shed, just in case we get a hard spell of wintry weather. Last time we had that must have been around 2011, I think. Remember that because a neighbour waved, and like a silly bar steward I waved back, and fell on the ice, and sprained my foot.

    Never been properly right since. The foot, that is:).