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Tree Planting Land Preparation

AIM:  Clear the tree planting area of bramble & bracken.


Slasher hand tool. To slash the brambles & bracken in half to stop them wrapping themselves around the wheels of the Rough cutter.

Pedestrian Tractor, Rough Cutter - To mulch the remaining stems of the bramble & bracken creating lovely planting ground.


It's taken a while to work out how we were going to actually clear the slopes we're going to plant on. We struggled with the idea of using a tracked vehicle. Being heavy underfoot is not our cup of tea. So we worked out a compromise. Being realistic about the time scale & bodies available we decided to do a mix of hand clearing with a clearing saw (like a strimmer but with a tri blade attachment), slasher hand tool, chain saw & the rough cutter.

It turns out that the clearing saw was an utter waste of time. This machine might have been running a bit rich but it ran out of 2 stroke within 1/2hr & was heavy, noisy & smelly. Not to mention the vibrations. We did an experiment, Leo used the slasher to "top" the long brambles & bracken & I used the cutter. In 1/2 hr we'd both topped the same area. So we ditched the clearing saw!

The chainsaw is for clearing the gorse. However so far its been done by hand, with a hand saw/billhook.

Sub Compartment 1or Big Scary Slope

This slope is by far the most daunting task. However, now we have worked out how to clear it it's just a matter of putting our elbow into it! There will be areas where it's too steep to use the Rough cutter. Not sure how we'll approach this yet. I think I'll just plant trees as best I can in un-mulched ground.

Scary Slope getting prepared!

The picture below is one of the areas where we are planting this weekend. It's going to be mainly shrubs/small trees like Hazel, Hawthorn, crab apple etc. I'll also be adding a few standards too, Oak, Ash, Birch, Aspen & Maple.

Sub Compartment 2 cleared!

We're getting the trees for this weekend from Exmoor Forest Nurseries. Tim from Exmoor Trees has worked his socks off to get us the order in time for this weekend. I am so happy with the help he's given. I can't recommend them enough! Buy trees from them now.. go on... go to their website & buy their trees! :)

Sooo.. I'm really excited to finally be getting stuck into the tree planting! Hopefully I'll be able to get past the problems with having people here to help with planting. As soon as I do you'll be the first to know!

hen xx


  1. Hard work to say the least. I can imagine it will be superb once the trees have taken hold. Look forward to seeing how it all develops. If you don't blog it we won't see it so thanks for taking the time to show us your work.

  2. Hi Hen,it is the dreaded Dawn; if you need help over the winter months give me a shout. Your spring planting idea looks fantastic; however, probably I will not be there, sorry, it is just that I have a problem with large groups. Give me a shout if you want any help, I am ok with tools and can even bring my own bill hook and bow saw. Dawn

  3. The more trees the better ! We Oregonians love trees!


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