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Beautiful English Walnut...


... is very good news business wise. Actually even run of the mill stuff sells well and keeps the accountant bro happy. I'm selling my best walnut at £70 a cubic foot - I've seen others selling the same quality for £120 a cube. I've also got slabs and odds and ends at a cheaper rate for the budget conscious (the skint).


So whenever Brian finds the latest tree which is about one a year, I'm always prepared to pay more and put more effort in than with other timbers. Brian did the deal verbally with the water keeper in Tufton on the banks of the Test river in January but the meadow was waterlogged so we didn't hand over the deposit until the end of February.

Brian Clearing

Brian was on top form...


... having been told by his consultant that his heart was working so well the pace maker wasn't doing anything and quickly cleared and burnt up the small branches leaving the cordwood for the farmer for mucking up his field.


I was pleasantly surprised on my next visit to find it all done and ready for the main trunk to be removed. We were able to see that there was more Walnut in this one than any of the many we had acquired over the past ten years.

Cleared Tree

Gordon had been booked...


... for the following weekend to collect some Oak so I persuaded him to come to this site first as the main trunk as you will see below was a whopper. As Rob was going to have to mill the biggest bits at a later date he sensibly offered to come over on Saturday morning and cut it out properly with his second biggest saw.


With the difficult bit delegated to the experts, we decided to get some of the smaller lumps to Mark at the sawmill, partly to leave room on Gordy's trailer but also to get an early look at the quality.


Anyone who has lifted even small branches will know that the techical term for this is sodding heavy. Brian being keen not to bugger up his smoothly running ticker went and chatted up the driver of a Manitou at a nearby building site.


He was persuaded for a drink to pop a couple of bits on Old Harold and we carted them up to Andover Down.


Rob and Gordon...


... duly turned up at the appointed time, well Rob was 10 minutes late but he made up for it by bringing some quality coffee from a local garage. After a bit of a jaw discussing the trials and tribulations sorting out his Landrover from a twisted chasis right off to a 6 wheel super truck we got to work.


We got to work sounds good, but actually I drank coffee and took pictures whilst the old maestro and his rival in the who's got the biggest tool war professionally sized and then sliced up the beast into liftable and usable chunks.


It's good to use professionals but I did hear of a man who found his plumber having sex with his dog. He rang the Police but they couldn't do anything - he was Corgi registered !


Rob does the cutting whilst Gordy in the background gives him marks out of ten.

Rob ' s First Cut

Already on the trailer...


... pictured below is a nice bit of Ash. It's marked 18 as that is how much cubic feet there is in it. I made the mistake of buying a Gordon a Hoppus chart and tape so he knows exactly how much he is selling me and I can't blind him with science or figures.


Fortunately he isn't and never has been greedy so as he usually says " we won't fall out over it ". Between you and me we bloody well will if he wants what it's really worth in the future.

First Loading

The loading continued...


... it does take a bit of time but I really enjoy watching the logs being lifted and neatly placed on the trailer. It's a lot wilder when I bung them on Old Harold from my tractor or when we roll them off without a mechanical lift.


Cutting through a log when a big metal grabber has the other end is firstly easier and secondly a lot safer.


Rob doing the second cut below is happier in the knowledge that it won't roll back on him. Irwin our other Tree Surgeon mate seriously injured himself when a big log rolled and crushed his leg a few years back.

Rob's Second Cut

Before you could say...


... Where's the morning gone it was all loaded and at the woods. Even from this picture you can see how much dark wood there is in each log.


I may sell some of it green to recoup the cash I've shelled out getting it this far but the majority will be slowly dried in my best drying places and offered for sale in a year or three.


Offloading at Woods