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Author Topic: Cruck wall & door posts - larch tree felling
Ken Hume
Posts: 437
Post Cruck wall & door posts - larch tree felling
on: November 26, 2016, 21:58

An 85 foot larch tree was selected to be felled to buck into lengths to make the side and intermediate (door) posts for cruck frame no 1.

A good straight tree with a breast height girth (BHG) of 40" was selected for felling.



The tree was felled by Andrew Jarvis using a Husquvarna chain saw fitted with an 18" bar -


- using a 2 x plunge cut technique.


Ideally a chainsaw bar longer than the diameter of the tree is needed to easily effect this technique.


The tree should be cleaned of side branches and dead knot pegs working in a direction towards the top of the tree taking care to clean downwards on the far side of the trunk and upwards only on leg side of the trunk to avoid the potential for leg / foot injury.


The trunk is first severed where a diameter of 8" can be obtained. Anything smaller than this diameter will go for fenceposts and / or firewood as the sapwood content of the log will be too high for structural timbers.


The felling has resulted in the production of a nice straight 30 ft log that could be used for wall plates or sills with the balance used for sidewall posts and or tie beams.


The larch needles are still falling and the first attempt at bark removal from a selected 8 ft length of sidewall post timber has revealed that by the end of November the sap is down and the bark has tightened in preparation for winter and so time permitting it would do no harm to raise this log off the ground and then wait until next springtime / summer before attempting to debark and hew this log.

Ken Hume

Ken Hume
Posts: 437
Post Re: Cruck wall & door posts - larch tree felling
on: December 29, 2016, 19:20

Offcuts from the hewn larch posts appear to indicate a particularly poor growing season in 1990 and the reasons for this need to be better understood. Presumeably this must relate to climate i.e. mainly temperature / rainfall / sunlight.


The Met Office advise that an explanation for this physical observation might well be found in their Monthly Weather Reports published by the Met Office between January 1884 and December 1993.

and that further reference can also be made to :-

Climate Pages

Regional Values

British Rainfall

Hadley Centre Observation Datasets

UK Regional Precipitation

Should a more localised analysis of climate be required then The Met Office are able to provide this subject to obtaining a quotation from them relating to the level of research work required.

Examination of the monthly weather reports covering the growing season (Apr - Oct) 1990 for the midlands and south east England reveal that this was an exceptionally dry & sunny year.


April had 93% normal rainfall
May had only 17% of normal rainfall
June had average rainfall
July had only 28% normal rainfall
August and September had 50% normal rainfall
October had 125% normal rainfall.


April had 154% normal sunshine
May had 139% normal sunshine
Jun had 66% normal sunshine
July had 141% normal sunshine
August had 139% normal sunshine
September had 118% normal sunshine
October had 108% normal sunshine

It seems that rainfall rather than sunshine is the main driver affecting growth rates in South Oxfordshire mainly because rain tends to quickly drain down into the underlying chalk of the Chiltern Hills leaving the trees unable to take advantage of the higher than average sunshine to develop wood.

Ken Hume OWG

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