Rants from the chaos woodshop #4: Introducing a new craft.

As many of you know I earn my living from working wood in one form or another. Since 1998 though (when I was at agricultural college) I have also laid hedges.

Hedgelaying is a mainly U.K. craft by which the hedgerow bush is cut part way through using a technique known as pleaching this allows the stem to bend and for it to be laid at an angle to make a living stock proof barrier.

For many years 50-70% of my winter income was made up from hedgelaying work. Now I do very little commercial work I still cut hedges every winter though. This year I have about 350metres to do on our holding at home.

I started this yesterday and the photos show the first mornings results. I laid about 40metres yesterday until my chainsaw decided it had, had enough. (I must order a Makita cordless one)

If anyone is interested in the craft of hedgelaying I will do a blog series on it.

Tags: professional woodworking hedgelaying

Dreaming of a sawmill, feels like a museum. Thanks for looking Adam.

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lightweightladylefty ...

This is very interesting. It reminds us of the natural snow fences which are planted along the roads here, but ours do not corral cattle. They just keep the snow from blowing across the roadways.

You roused our curiosity so we did a little reading on Wikipedia. Keep posting your progress. We’ll enjoy watching!


Whitacrebespoke ...

I will do. This will grow up now from the base and from the live stems that were laid over and be a thick square hedge around 5ft tall once grown and trimmed.

It will be better than any fence at keeping in stock and will have a lot of other benefits it gives nesting areas and shelter for song birds, it will help with stopping the snow drifting across the road although we don’t get much, it will also now gain its own eco system in the bottom its not uncommon to find the margin at the base of hedgerows filled with wild flowers that provide good feed sources for insects etc.

Moment ...

Feudalism means never having to wear a barbed wire hat .

Jack ...

Very interested, looking forward to seeing how you do it. Thanks.

Brian ...

Looks like they’re cut clean through. That can’t be the case since you said already it’s not. I’d like to see a closeup of the cut trunk.

Also, how long do they grow before you lay them? It looks like they were trimmed at the base before they were laid. After laying them, do they still need trimming?

This is a very cool project. A piece of living history.

Whitacrebespoke ...

It certainly is Bruce. Brian take a look at my most recent blog