Illustrations by Ms Anje Jager

Timber - one of the cornerstones of many a great nation. The stuff Lord Nelson's fleet was made of as it bravely fought off invaders, and the stuff that is almost inevitably holding the roof over your head. If you want good wood, you will have to fell a good tree. Remember they suck in an awful lot of climate changing CO2 too, so prepare to plant as you prepare to fell.

A FEW COMMON MISTAKES...


NOT KNOWING YOUR TREE

You don't want to be felling hazel for Lord Nelson's warships when he wants oak, so identify your tree before you start to chop

DOING IT YOURSELF

If in doubt seek professional advice. And don't hire a beaver, they are most unreliable

DOING IT FOR FUN

Trees are big and often unpredictable. Trees should not be cut down willy-nilly. Unless you are planning to do it for the greater good (fuel, sunlight, housing) leave the tree be. And remember, you've got another to plant

IGNORING THE LAW

Even if it's in your back garden, it may be covered by a tree preservation order. Not in a garden? You might need a felling licence. A quick chat with your local council or the Forestry Commission should help. Better that than a hefty fine

The best shirts for woodcutting


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