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Overhanging trees in fields

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,776 ✭✭✭paddysdream


    wrangler wrote: »
    Thank goodness, some sense at last. Of course we have to maintain our hedges
    First we had vegans now we have environmentalists.
    This forum is going to the dogs

    Have never yet cut down a healthy tree in a hedge but have taken out acres of them over the years .Pulled out 2 acres of crab apple trees in the middle of a 7 acre field about 30 years ago.
    When you have spent your entire farming life reclaiming land its hard to let it revert into what it was before .
    People forget that the landscape they see around them was shaped by humans over thousands of years .Those hedges were sown by someone perhaps 3/400 years ago .All the hedges here I would imagine (well the ones I have left) were sown as the hollow where the clay has heaped up from to build the bank is still visible .Some are on the mid 19th century maps but others were done later .
    Yes, all that bio-diversity is lovely to look at but if someone else is willing to have their land covered in them grand but its not for me .When we are paid for it will be time enough for it .


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,178 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump


    Have never yet cut down a healthy tree in a hedge but have taken out acres of them over the years .Pulled out 2 acres of crab apple trees in the middle of a 7 acre field about 30 years ago.
    When you have spent your entire farming life reclaiming land its hard to let it revert into what it was before .
    People forget that the landscape they see around them was shaped by humans over thousands of years .Those hedges were sown by someone perhaps 3/400 years ago .All the hedges here I would imagine (well the ones I have left) were sown as the hollow where the clay has heaped up from to build the bank is still visible .Some are on the mid 19th century maps but others were done later .
    Yes, all that bio-diversity is lovely to look at but if someone else is willing to have their land covered in them grand but its not for me .When we are paid for it will be time enough for it .




    At the same time, those ditches and banks weren't dug by fellas with JCBs. They dug them and planted the hedges and made that effort for a reason. If you are going to that bother, you are going to do something right - cheap and all as labour may have been. So when those people planted those hedges and trees, it was for a definite purpose.



    I've seen it here a few times - when the ditch is cleaned out you suddenly expose an old stone drain and water gushes out. The ditch had just become silted up over the years. I'd say though that back in the day they would never have been allowed to do that. When things got easier due to mechanisation, people didn't prioritise those jobs and drains got forgotten about. Or they could have been lost through land being sold or information just not being passed on.


    As for hedges, I posted an old British Pathe video of laying hedges a few years back. I will see if I can dig it out.


    Edit: This was the video



    When you are going to that bother, you make deliberate choices with what you plant


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,776 ✭✭✭paddysdream


    At the same time, those ditches and banks weren't dug by fellas with JCBs. They dug them and planted the hedges and made that effort for a reason. If you are going to that bother, you are going to do something right - cheap and all as labour may have been. So when those people planted those hedges and trees, it was for a definite purpose.



    I've seen it here a few times - when the ditch is cleaned out you suddenly expose an old stone drain and water gushes out. The ditch had just become silted up over the years. I'd say though that back in the day they would never have been allowed to do that. When things got easier due to mechanisation, people didn't prioritise those jobs and drains got forgotten about. Or they could have been lost through land being sold or information just not being passed on.


    As for hedges, I posted an old British Pathe video of laying hedges a few years back. I will see if I can dig it out.


    Edit: This was the video



    When you are going to that bother, you make deliberate choices with what you plant

    I would imagine a lot were sown to divide up fields/farms into manageable sized areas .No Tinsley about 400 years ago .
    Times change as does the landscape .There is no point in trying to keep an unchanging environment preserved in sepia .
    Looking at the place here on maps dating back a few hundred year sand ditches have appeared and disappeared over time .


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,178 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump


    I would imagine a lot were sown to divide up fields/farms into manageable sized areas .No Tinsley about 400 years ago .
    Times change as does the landscape .There is no point in trying to keep an unchanging environment preserved in sepia .
    Looking at the place here on maps dating back a few hundred year sand ditches have appeared and disappeared over time .




    I think you misunderstood my point which was it was a lot of effort in those times to do things. So they did them for a reason. I wouldn't assume that they were just eejits who did things randomly. It was likely that they were more in tune with things than people are now. Because they had to be. There is a lot of information gained over time which was also lost over time.



    It doesn't mean that you have to keep things one way forever. I just wouldn't automatically bull in to change something for the sake of it. You might remove or change something and then only when it is gone, realise why it was there in the first place


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,776 ✭✭✭paddysdream


    I think you misunderstood my point which was it was a lot of effort in those times to do things. So they did them for a reason. I wouldn't assume that they were just eejits who did things randomly. It was likely that they were more in tune with things than people are now. Because they had to be. There is a lot of information gained over time which was also lost over time.



    It doesn't mean that you have to keep things one way forever. I just wouldn't automatically bull in to change something for the sake of it. You might remove or change something and then only when it is gone, realise why it was there in the first place

    Some were make work schemes as well .Lots of this stuff was done in the 19th and early 20th century even without FAS involvement.Folly's were built ;estate walls built for miles for purposes unknown in many cases .
    Just because someone does something doesn't mean its automatically worthwhile ,useful or even common sense .
    Fields were drained in a way that only make sense if all you had was a shovel ,flagstones and some straw .Not the best way but the only way possible .
    Field here we own now that was drained by hand in the 1950's for a grant scheme .Took 6 months hard labour .I drained it in 2 days with 20 ton machine , stoning cart and yellow pipe .The man who done it originally asked me was he mad to have bothered doing all that work with stone shores that had to go around large rocks , open drains only 3 feet deep as rock stopped going deeper etc etc .
    The idea that people were "more in tune " is a bit naive I think but who knows ?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,725 ✭✭✭Castlekeeper


    Have never yet cut down a healthy tree in a hedge but have taken out acres of them over the years .Pulled out 2 acres of crab apple trees in the middle of a 7 acre field about 30 years ago.
    When you have spent your entire farming life reclaiming land its hard to let it revert into what it was before .
    People forget that the landscape they see around them was shaped by humans over thousands of years .Those hedges were sown by someone perhaps 3/400 years ago .All the hedges here I would imagine (well the ones I have left) were sown as the hollow where the clay has heaped up from to build the bank is still visible .Some are on the mid 19th century maps but others were done later .
    Yes, all that bio-diversity is lovely to look at but if someone else is willing to have their land covered in them grand but its not for me .When we are paid for it will be time enough for it .
    There might have been more out of the crabs than there is out of grass.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,221 ✭✭✭✭Say my name


    There might have been more out of the crabs than there is out of grass.

    Thistles are edible too.


    Apparently thistle tea is good for joint swelling and rheumatoid arthritis.

    Oh feck there's my business idea gone. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,776 ✭✭✭paddysdream


    There might have been more out of the crabs than there is out of grass.

    Unlikely.

    It was a 7 acre field that was dry enough but apart from the crab apple orchard it was covered in furze and whitethorn bushes. Ground was full of humps and hollows from cows grazing during wet times .Had never even driven into it as there was no way in only by crossing a river/drain through a 6ft. gap .
    It grazed 2 cows and their calves for the Summer .
    Drained adjoining fields and when we were about finished contractor asked me if I was doing that field. Said no way as funds had vanished .Offered me 2 days with dozer and 2 days with track machine at real good rate (early 1990's so not sure what it was ).
    Cleared the place and it took 3 good burnings over a few months to get rid of all the dirt .
    Reseeded it and have cut silage/hay off it most years since .Reckoned it must have payed it back since .If the EU want it back in its previous condition then they will have to make it worthwhile .

    If you start out farming "mans " land then its hard to go back to that if you ever improve it .Lot to be said to be able to drive (all bar one) field any day of the year even in the jeep .Fcuk hardship and slobbering got enough of it and have no real desire to go back to be honest .


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,221 ✭✭✭✭Say my name


    Unlikely.

    It was a 7 acre field that was dry enough but apart from the crab apple orchard it was covered in furze and whitethorn bushes. Ground was full of humps and hollows from cows grazing during wet times .Had never even driven into it as there was no way in only by crossing a river/drain through a 6ft. gap .
    It grazed 2 cows and their calves for the Summer .
    Drained adjoining fields and when we were about finished contractor asked me if I was doing that field. Said no way as funds had vanished .Offered me 2 days with dozer and 2 days with track machine at real good rate (early 1990's so not sure what it was ).
    Cleared the place and it took 3 good burnings over a few months to get rid of all the dirt .
    Reseeded it and have cut silage/hay off it most years since .Reckoned it must have payed it back since .If the EU want it back in its previous condition then they will have to make it worthwhile .

    If you start out farming "mans " land then its hard to go back to that if you ever improve it .Lot to be said to be able to drive (all bar one) field any day of the year even in the jeep .Fcuk hardship and slobbering got enough of it and have no real desire to go back to be honest .

    Who planted the crab apple orchard?
    And why?
    Part of an old estate?


  • Registered Users Posts: 948 ✭✭✭tellmeabit


    Nice second photo, lovely shot of cows grazing in a nice setting with a couple of trees.

    There'd probably be little or no benefit to knocking them unless you spend a few thousand making it a flat field and then you could end up making it a wet flat field.

    Digger man wanted to knock but I said let them there. The 1st photo was swamped From a blocked pipe coming from a quarry filled with fine ash. So opened it at the side last year. And he is to come back and flatten the mounds now it's dry. Going to ask him to slope it towards the open drain. Should make a nice job of it, with out too much work.
    There were a few huge trees knocked over the years during storms blocking all the 1st pic so he moved them to side and I'm slowly clearing them away.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,776 ✭✭✭paddysdream


    Who planted the crab apple orchard?
    And why?
    Part of an old estate?

    No idea to be honest .

    Old maps show it as normal land without bog or scrub so maybe neglect back 100 years ago ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,221 ✭✭✭✭Say my name


    No idea to be honest .

    Old maps show it as normal land without bog or scrub so maybe neglect back 100 years ago ?

    I'd say it must have been planted.
    Though it sounds like you'll never know for sure.

    There's places funny like that.
    A place local to me and there's the finest stone cut bridge just crossing a stream between two fields. No road or lane either side nowadays.
    Go back in history though and a few hundred metres away was an ancient church and graveyard and remains of a castle nearby, now a farmhouse and it looks like across the bridge was their vegetable patch/food garden.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,667 ✭✭✭Birdnuts




    As for hedges, I posted an old British Pathe video of laying hedges a few years back. I will see if I can dig it out.


    Edit: This was the video



    When you are going to that bother, you make deliberate choices with what you plant

    A great art that been nearly lost in this country - which is why so many ditches are in such poor condition or gone altogether. A well laid hedge like that would only require some basic pruning every 5 years at most. Another example why the likes of REPS etc. was such a lost opportunity to educate the current farming generation(and most contractors for that matter) about how to properly maintain a hedge instead of the clumsy slash jobs you see being done up and down the country every year:(


  • Registered Users Posts: 715 ✭✭✭Stihl waters


    Birdnuts wrote: »
    A great art that been nearly lost in this country - which is why so many ditches are in such poor condition or gone altogether. A well laid hedge like that would only require some basic pruning every 5 years at most. Another example why the likes of REPS etc. was such a lost opportunity to educate the current farming generation(and most contractors for that matter) about how to properly maintain a hedge instead of the clumsy slash jobs you see being done up and down the country every year:(

    If it cant be done from the seat of a tractor or digger its easier to leave it


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,776 ✭✭✭paddysdream


    I'd say it must have been planted.
    Though it sounds like you'll never know for sure.

    There's places funny like that.
    A place local to me and there's the finest stone cut bridge just crossing a stream between two fields. No road or lane either side nowadays.
    Go back in history though and a few hundred metres away was an ancient church and graveyard and remains of a castle nearby, now a farmhouse and it looks like across the bridge was their vegetable patch/food garden.

    Hard to see why someone would plant crab trees in the middle of a field .
    Lucky enough to know a lot of what was done etc here over the years .We are here since before 1800 and remember my grand uncle telling me bits and pieces as a child .He was born in 1882 and his own father was born before the famine .Stuff like he never saw the field where my house was later built ploughed as it was beside the farmyard so always wanted for stock .


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,776 ✭✭✭paddysdream


    If it cant be done from the seat of a tractor or digger its easier to leave it

    Best hedge rejuvenation I have seen is one done couple of years ago with a saw head on a track machine .
    Big gappy ditch on a 6 foot high bank about 10 feet wide .Sheep going in and out through it .About 400m long in a straight line .Full of ash ,whitethorn and briars with a few trees .
    He wanted it fenced and only way would be to do both sides at field level.No way to even get post driver halfway up bank .
    He decided to cut it to the ground with saw ,leaving the trees about 8 feet high and all the rest as low as possible .Pulled out all the briars etc .
    Drove stakes on top of bank with track machine.I wired it with sheep wire and barbed wire .Was back there about 3 weeks ago and its as nice a hedge as you could imagine ,about 6 feet high and nearly stockproof even without the wire .


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,146 ✭✭✭DBK1


    Would have to disagree with what seems to be the majority consensus on here and say that I would be of the opinion that the portion of hedge in your photo really needs trimming back .
    Suppose it depends on where you are coming from but having reclaimed a goodly portion of the land here over the years hate to see it getting overgrown .

    Overhanging branches in that photo would entail keeping a tractor 15/20ft away from the hedge .
    I’d agree with that too. Nothing worse than trees like that around a hedge when you’re mowing.

    Also trimming down that hedge and letting the sun shine in will improve that wet corner and allow it to see daylight and dry out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,937 ✭✭✭SmartinMartin


    lukin wrote: »
    I need to cut them because eventually they will fall over on the fence wire.
    The photo attached is from last November. That one has got bigger since. You can see what I mean about the field getting too wet for machinery to travel on. I need someone with a kind of tree shearing machine. I am not well-versed in farming practices so this is all new to me.
    Btw I am as environmentally aware as anyone, I certainly don't want to disturb birds nests.

    It's very obvious to me from that photo that animals are using that spot for shelter, or at the very least a scratching post. Why the fcuk would you even consider removing their cover?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,092 ✭✭✭✭wrangler


    DBK1 wrote: »
    I’d agree with that too. Nothing worse than trees like that around a hedge when you’re mowing.

    Also trimming down that hedge and letting the sun shine in will improve that wet corner and allow it to see daylight and dry out.

    My father bought most of here since I was born and most of the ditches were neglected for years when he got it, there was about twenty little fields in in it when I took over , now there's 5, all maintained by machine at least every second year.
    Definitely the level of maintenance had a lot to do with the good demand for it when I went to lease it


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,092 ✭✭✭✭wrangler


    Micheal O leary bought an 130 acre farm near here, all scrub and overgrown..... It's a credit to him now with all the scrub cleared and the ditches cut and it all sowed down Haven't seen it lately so don't know wheather it was sown to grass or barley.
    he took a scrubby gravel hill out of it and put a roadway up through the farm... great job


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,039 ✭✭✭minerleague


    wrangler wrote: »
    My father bought most of here since I was born and most of the ditches were neglected for years when he got it, there was about twenty little fields in in it when I took over , now there's 5, all maintained by machine at least every second year.
    Definitely the level of maintenance had a lot to do with the good demand for it when I went to lease it

    You farmed in 1970- 1980s i'm guessing?A lot of hedges destroyed in that time :(
    I dont think OP wants to go that far and nothing wrong with maintaining hedges ( I'd have him/her out with briarhook, axe and chainsaw laying oldschool ) but if instead of doing all hedges in one year do worst one this year and so on, a bit every year helps what nature we have left. Laying with track machine needs a very good operator and a hedge that isnt gone too strong ( too much dead material on top encourages growth on sides of ditch. Without seeing OP hedges Id advice 1st run around with sawblade or shears to take out strong material and then push down rest. Please stay away from mulcher as it bruises / batters ends of branches which slow growing ( whitethorn holly etc) plants find hard to recover from


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,092 ✭✭✭✭wrangler


    You farmed in 1970- 1980s i'm guessing?A lot of hedges destroyed in that time :(
    I dont think OP wants to go that far and nothing wrong with maintaining hedges ( I'd have him/her out with briarhook, axe and chainsaw laying oldschool ) but if instead of doing all hedges in one year do worst one this year and so on, a bit every year helps what nature we have left. Laying with track machine needs a very good operator and a hedge that isnt gone too strong ( too much dead material on top encourages growth on sides of ditch. Without seeing OP hedges Id advice 1st run around with sawblade or shears to take out strong material and then push down rest. Please stay away from mulcher as it bruises / batters ends of branches which slow growing ( whitethorn holly etc) plants find hard to recover from

    I've never regretted levelling the place, big fields are great to do work in. When I started the grants more than covered jobs like that


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,039 ✭✭✭minerleague


    wrangler wrote: »
    I've never regretted levelling the place, big fields are great to do work in. When I started the grants more than covered jobs like that

    Yes I understand your viewpoint, and I'd say far more farmers share your opinion than mine. Went on a farmwalk many years ago ( when younger i was tempted by more " modern" methods than father here practiced :( ) and farmer had removed a lot of hedges ( any left had the short back and sides approach) and noticed immediately the lack of birdsong or blossoms for bees. Realize farmers never going back to old ways but you can mimic them to a point with modern means.
    By the way I've never regretted not leveling the place and nothing either of us can do about another persons farm except give our advice anyway !


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,725 ✭✭✭Castlekeeper


    wrangler wrote: »
    Micheal O leary bought an 130 acre farm near here, all scrub and overgrown..... It's a credit to him now with all the scrub cleared and the ditches cut and it all sowed down Haven't seen it lately so don't know wheather it was sown to grass or barley.
    he took a scrubby gravel hill out of it and put a roadway up through the farm... great job

    Such a farm might be an embarrassment to others though.
    Most of what was lost through ignorance and greed can't easily replaced, but hopefully education will open eyes in time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,092 ✭✭✭✭wrangler


    Such a farm might be an embarrassment to others though.
    Most of what was lost through ignorance and greed can't easily replaced, but hopefully education will open eyes in time.

    I think neglect of farmland is getting worse and your ideal is gaining on my ideal by default.
    i used to admire the way the west of ireland used to manage every sq ft compared around this area, alas this is no longer the case so it's swings and roundabouts.
    Around here is now getting more intensive and west more neglected. A farmer from the west used to travel with me to Dublin twenty five years ago and he'd always remark how much land was wasted around here but as I say the reverse is the case now


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,725 ✭✭✭Castlekeeper


    wrangler wrote: »
    I think neglect of farmland is getting worse and your ideal is gaining on my ideal by default.
    i used to admire the way the west of ireland used to manage every sq ft compared around this area, alas this is no longer the case so it's swings and roundabouts.
    Around here is now getting more intensive and west more neglected. A farmer from the west used to travel with me to Dublin twenty five years ago and he'd always remark how much land was wasted around here but as I say the reverse is the case now

    We're part of the world too, but a bit of balance is necessary for all our sakes.
    I could be kind enough to also call the OCD industrial system of farming you describe as neglect, but that would depend on whether such an attitude to nature and ecosystems was enacted through vindictive malice or just indifference and ignorance.

    It was a different story when we couldn't obliterate everything inside the hedge as well, but as Spiderman learnt, "with great power, comes great responsibility".

    Good management is multi-faceted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,912 ✭✭✭✭whisky_galore


    Some real hate towards nature and ecosystems here worthy of Bolsonaro. God forbid any wildlife would need a corridor through your manicured farm, only nuisances to be shot and poisoned. Reminds me of those householders with OCD not content with mowing their lawns they go outside on the road with ride on lawnmowers to mow the verges up and down for a km on both sides of the road.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,092 ✭✭✭✭wrangler


    We're part of the world too, but a bit of balance is necessary for all our sakes.
    I could be kind enough to also call the OCD industrial system of farming you describe as neglect, but that would depend on whether such an attitude to nature and ecosystems was enacted through vindictive malice or just indifference and ignorance.

    It was a different story when we couldn't obliterate everything inside the hedge as well, but as Spiderman learnt, "with great power, comes great responsibility".

    Good management is multi-faceted.

    I also depends whether your 'let go wild' sort of management is due to laziness or care for nature., I'd guess the most of what I see is the former.
    The 130acre farrm was abandoned for 20 years, its management was nothing to do with love of ecosystems or anything else


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,725 ✭✭✭Castlekeeper


    wrangler wrote: »
    I also depends whether your 'let go wild' sort of management is due to laziness or care for nature., I'd guess the most of what I see is the former.
    The 130acre farrm was abandoned for 20 years, its management was nothing to do with love of ecosystems or anything else

    It was more your description and advocacy of the subsequent management I was referring to, in which case the disregard for nature would seem to have a more conscious input.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,039 ✭✭✭minerleague


    Some real hate towards nature and ecosystems here worthy of Bolsonaro. God forbid any wildlife would need a corridor through your manicured farm, only nuisances to be shot and poisoned. Reminds me of those householders with OCD not content with mowing their lawns they go outside on the road with ride on lawnmowers to mow the verges up and down for a km on both sides of the road.


    worse again is the spraying of round-up either side of the road gate


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