From Ground to Canopy

Have you ever had the feeling when you’re in the right place at the right time, everything just flows? Conversations come naturally, you meet the exact people you need to meet and your thoughts and visualisations take form in the real world.

I experienced such a day this week. We were attending a ranger meet at a well known property to get a few tasks done and also to meet others in the area. The day started with a few options and my colleagues and I made our way to a site that needed hazel coppicing work done. The impending rain did not dampen our spirits as we zealously coursed around hazel stools with our hand saws. Coppicing is a fantastic pruning technique done in late winter or early spring, that encourages new stems to regenerate from the cuts. This sustains the lifespan of a tree or shrub and at the same time opens up the ground layer for more light to enter so other saplings can grow.

My handiwork, a coppiced hazel stool

In time, the hazel stems will be processed as charcoal and sold, which goes towards the conservation funding of the site. During the coppicing session, I also managed to fit in some meaningful conversations with old and new acquaintances. It was a jolly good atmosphere as everyone was on the same frequency and we all shared the same objectives.

As we headed back for lunch, the clouds gave way and it started pouring. Exceptional timing I should say! Sitting in the barn with a hot cup of tea in my hands, with lots of chatter and laughter around reminded me of my days as a student. Well technically I am still a student, as I’ll never stop learning! I met plenty of interesting ‘tree people’ and we had brilliant ‘tree conversations’; I was also grateful to be invited to observe the afternoon session of a tree veteranisation masterclass for certified climbers only. It was just a few months ago that I started toying with the idea of tree climbing in addition to forestry and woodland management, so this was going to be an eye-opener for me.

‘Tree masters’ at work

I summoned my best observation and listening skills and learned. I had felt ‘in the flow’ all day today and had even more constructive conversations with ‘tree people’. I was buzzing; my gut feeling told me I was in the right place at the right time, with the right tribe and doing the right thing on my journey of trees. Absolutely invigorating.

If you feel positive and the thing that you do lifts your spirit, you know that’s where you want to be.

Me? It’s most definitely amongst trees in the land of giants.

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