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Transcript of Habitat Management
methods Pruning Thinning Cutting/Mowing Never prune a plant when it is cold.
Always cut back to a ‘joint’.
Leaving a stump can lead to die back. This is the selective removal of some plants to increase size
of others (can be used for trees, shrubs etc). Remember!
Different animals and insects live in varying heights of grass and wildflowers and ensuring that different areas are at different lengths will assure that the maximum biodiversity is achieved. Hedge Maintenance This method requires the use of tools such as shears, loppers, secateurs & hedge trimmers Coppicing This is an ancient management technique that encourages sustainable woodlands. Uprooting This is the permanent removal of a plant Felling This is a very important practice, and has numerous uses; Type of habitat Is it a woodland?
Is it Aquatic such as a pond?
Are species on site protected? What technique to choose? What tools are you
going to use? What tool does what job? For site preparation if you need to clear trees to make way
for something else. Selective thinning to maximize a woodland ‘crop’. Weed out weaker trees to make more room for other trees to grow mature. Prevent overcrowding and domino effect. Increase the amount of light that reaches the understorey For conservation to remove self seeded non native trees from an ancient woodland or to remove invasive species such as rhododendron or sycamore. Mulching Spraying References picturesofwinter.net
guardian.co.uk What time of year? Timing is very important. Infrequent heavy thinning of trees will carry a risk of wind blow where the tree doesn’t get long enough to adapt its roots. Felling should be done in late autumn or winter (October - March) at these times trees are less sappy, easier to cut and wildlife disturbance is minimal. Avoid working in spring and summer when nesting and flowering take place Who is going to be using the tool? Do they need training? Technique:
Cut trees at Ground level (at a sloping angle) to encourage new shoots to develop from the stump Benefits:
Creates areas for new species including wildflowers to grow where light can reach the field layer.
It can also extend the life of trees for hundreds of years. 4 points to remember:
1) Tree should be cut to sloping stump close to the ground
2) New shoots allowed to form over next 3 years or so
3) Harvest timber periodically – rotational coppicing to maximise age and size of trees
4) Coppicing increases biodiversity by increasing habitats and provides a continuous source of fencing/furniture material/charcoal When should we coppice? Look at the pictures, is this the correct method This method is used mostly on weeds or invasive species such as Himalayan Balsam
Take a firm hold of the plant near the base, pull until it emerges with root/bulb.
Crush the root/bulb and create a habitat pile to stop them reestablishing. Never uproot before:
You identify the species your removing
Got permission of the land owner Wildlife and countryside act 1981
Read the sites Biodiversity Action Plan
Or if the plant has gone to seed The best time to uproot? Whens the best time for Hedge Maintenance? Before starting;
Check for nesting animals Alternatives to trimming;
'cutting and laying’ – cut a small notch in a branch and then bind it into the hedge in the same direction. (Weaving branches in to create a thick barrier) When cutting back the hedge start with the sides and move onto the top keeping the shears parallel to the hedge cut back to adjoining branches this promotes new growth This is the removal of damaged growth and allows for attractive growth.
Through constant pruning you can train and encourage flowering of a plant Tools that can be used;
Saws Three D’s order of removal;
Diseased wood (don’t spread disease!) When should we prune? Disposal – do not compost diseased wood – you will spread to other areas. Soft prunings can be composted; woody pruning can be chopped up for wood chip or form a habitat pile. This is placing a 2 – 4 inch inorganic layer (eg. ground up stone, lava rock, gravel) and/or organic layer (eg. wood chips, leaves, compost mix) around the base of trees to improve the soils fertility and moisture. It also insulates the soil and inhibits the growth of weeds and disease. When spraying be aware that some herbicides may remove plant species that you didn’t want to, these are known as non-selective species (try and avoid using these where possible). Also be aware if working close to a water source as some herbicides cannot used near to running water.
In this situation it is best to remove a few of the unhealthiest trees and/or non-native trees in order for the healthier trees thrive. When selecting trees for removal, care must be taken not to remove too many as a bare woodland is threatened by heavy winds. Depending on what and how much you are thinning follow the correct procedure – e.g. uprooting or felling. When do we need to thin woodlands? When they have become overgrown and crowded
When trees will all be competing for space light and nutrients. How do we do this? Autumn Spring Summer Cutting or mowing a meadow is best done twice a year;
Once in Autumn (August - September) and once in early spring (March - April). The spring cut will knock back thistles and grasses that may take hold over winter.
Cutting a whole meadow in one go could remove food for insects so try to leave an area fallow. A scythe or strimmer can be used for meadow cutting. When using a strimmer check first for frogs or hedgehogs which could be killed. This is a method used for maintaining vast areas of grass such as meadows, playing fields etc. The cuttings must be removed to allow wildflowers to grow. The autumn cut gives the meadow plants a chance to flower and set seed. When grasses reach around 10cm high in a meadow, it should be cut and Thistles or docks should be uprooted to ensure permanent removal. This is a cost effective option – spray herbicide to remove vegetation (mowing could cost 400% more!) Long lasting option – used to control Himalayan Balsam and Japanese knotweed Before you start identify the plant or plants you are trying to remove and choose the correct herbicide to remove this.