My French Forest is a very interesting concept for a blog.
It is Michael’s blog and it’s all about trees.
Michael lives in Limoges in the Limousin and has this to say about himself…
“I have been interested in trees for as long as I can remember, even in primary school I new all the species that were growing around the school and the sports fields. It was always my ambition to have woodland and moving to France made that possible. After taking my A levels I started my own forestry tree nursery in north of England. It took me 13 years to realise that I was not really making any money doing that and that it was time for a change. So we decided to move to France and have a change of life. I love it here, however my 3 teenage boys tell me it’s boring and that there is nothing to do. I try to do my best to relieve thier bordom by getting them to help with the wood- a task which gets harder as each year passes. Sadly it dosn’t look like any of them are going to be woodmen unless they can do it on the computer or X Box live! I also had a 4 year stint of growing raspberries commercially but got fed up with the 4 AM starts to deliver to the wholesalers. I then spent 2 years working for a local company making loghouses. Everything that I do at present is either in the blog or will appear in the future. Thanks for looking.”
The blog begins in July 2010 with How it all began
As Michael says… “It was 1996, Life was stuck in a rut, repetitive job, long hours for not much reward. I was fed up of Britain, house prices were already out of reach and it seemed that we would be renting forever. We also had a baby on the way so life was about to change, so why not make it a big one and change everything.”
Needing to earn a living, with 27 acres of land, mostly treed and remembering a chainsawing course he had taken when he was 16, Michael put two and two together and tarted producing firewood both for himself and to sell.
Michael ends his first post saying… “Hopefully a few of you will find the adventure interesting and worth following. I refuse to believe that I am the only tree mad person out there!”
In Sweet Chestnut Coppice we get to learn all about both Sweet Chestnut trees and the coppicing of them.
And Michael’s passion for trees is more than evident in this well written and supremely interesting article.
Firewood explains the process of felling the tree and cutting and splitting the logs.
It also goes to show the amount of effort that has to go into the whole process!
For us mere mortals who may only have to hop a few cubic metres of wood each year, the re is a handy guide to How to Make a Firewood Cutting Frame.
Now it’s there in front of me it just makes so much sense!
A visit to see a massive oak tree is recounted in Gros Chene de Sully a Sazeirat.
Not only does Michael give directions for anyone who might be interested in finding this tree, he also gives us the history behind its planting.
This is what he says about him…
“Maximilien de Béthune, duc de Sully (1560-1641) was First Minister and right hand man of Henry IV of France. He was also passionate about trees and was responsible for halting and outlawing the devastation of the forests of France that had preceeded his appointment.
He was also a great planter of trees In 1599 he was appointed Grand Commissioner of Highways and Public Works amongst other titles. He ensured that trees were planted all along the verges of his new roads and it is said that he was responsible for starting the French tradition of planting roadside avenues of poplars, limes and elm trees (almost all of the elms have sadly been lost to disease) which are so characteristic of so many roads in parts of France.”
So, summing up….
The first Tree blog that I have ever reviewed and I am entranced!
Michael writes well about a subject that he is obviously very passionate about and accompanied his detailed prose with some great photographs!
I can heartily recommend a visit to My French Forest and personally I look forward to reading many, many more of Michaels blog posts.
So, put your wellies on and pop down to take a look at My French Forest
And me? Well, I’m going to take a look at My Favourite Tree.
Michael says of his favourite tree….
“To my young boy’s this has always been
Piglets House (Winnie the Pooh). I still am
in awe of this tree even though I have
passed it thousands of time during the
dozen or so years that I have lived here.”
All the best
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