Techniques And Machines To Manage Forest And Land In France


I put the capital letter A at the top as I am still a new poster :wink: so please don’t expect too much just yet.

If… If I were to write articles about my experience of starting from scratch with overgrown and run down places in France would anyone be interested? I don’t want to waste my time if not.

Why you might ask would I want to write? Well, Like a large number of people moving to France was a big deal, lots to learn, lots of things done differently here and not just because it’s France. Different because I never had to manage a 3 acre garden before, nor manage an orchard and a forest. Some people were really helpful and gave me a hand to understand parts of the big puzzle and I thought it might be a decent thing to share what I have found works for me and what doesn’t.

Also, I like this forum, although at times it drifts (for me) away from “survive in France” and becomes a general discussion/banter forum, which is great for the people that like that, I think anything that gets you through the days should be encouraged. But, I am sure there are a lot of people that maybe have recently arrived or are considering getting a place in France and for them (like me) sometimes all we want from a forum is sound advice and maybe a different way of looking at French related issues that seem huge at the time, but can be overcome.

Therefore I propose to write some articles and see where it leads, assuming I am permitted under the forum rules? And assuming people want to read them?

Ideas I am thinking of include:-

Safe use of chainsaws
Managing smaller forests
Felling trees
Log splitting
Seasoning firewood
Managing large gardens, how big is too big etc
Ride on mower, micro tractor and flail mower or push mower
Harvesting rainwater and using well water
Raised garden beds and why your back will thank you

I do not propose to write about building renovations.

If all this has already been covered and I have missed finding it on the forum please direct me to where to find it.

That’s it, I have officially started a new topic (for me anyway).

I will spend a few days on the tractor and log splitter and check back to see what the feeling is, shall I get my coat or get my pen…

Play nice



I would be interested.

Always interested Henri

You never know when somebody else’s experience can be relevant to you.


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As a possible future acquirer of a small wood, I’d be interested.

That sounds very interesting - I’ve sent you a pm…

Always good to hear about other people’s experiences, so a yes from me :sunglasses:

I’m sure it would go down well.

Please do

yes please chainsaw. finding my Lidl pole pruner and Aldi lightweight chainsaw are not man enough for French shrubbery.

Am looking to graduate to Scheppach version of midrange working chainsaw so safety tips, common problems and their solutions (things you blokes know that women don’t, essential maintenance, is something I should study seriously first.

Yes please!

Great idea, but be prepared for the views if others which might differ from yours, and the inevitable thread drift.

Edited to say that I’ve been doing the same over nearly 20 years

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I’d be interested in reading what forestry tips the OP has as I’m just clearing up fallers and the odd very dead tree on my 3 hectares of woodland.

There is certainly some interest and I thank you all for your input.

To be very clear, I am not planning to write a “How to” nor am I suggesting that they way I do things is better than anyone else’s, nor in fact am I even saying mine is the correct way to do anything.

What I will do is write how I do things, what works for me and why, I may refer to changes that I have made to the way I do things. Remembering that experience is simply a whole lot of mistakes that we and other have made, that we have remembered so we can try and not repeat the mistakes.

The first topic I would like to write about is how I prepare to use a chainsaw, my own personal safety kit and why I use it.

The question then is what category should I post that article in and does it matter?

There is a gardening section towards the bottom of the catagories.

As Colin suggested, there’s a dedicated Garden category.

The French have an ideal way to deal with shrubbery. It is a tractor with an attachment with blades, but should only be handled by professionals, but farmers like to cut a hedge in fall for money.
You cannot get the job done as clean as the blades, even if you try. Otherwise use the tools you feel comfortable with .

Forestry is the most dangerous part of the farm work. While I have no problem dealing with fallen trees, dead standing trees I leave to a friend, that put it on the ground for me.
I have seen enough trees, which turn into another direction than intended and without other people around, it is dangerous to deal with widow makers!

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  1. Spend more on safety equipment than the chainsaw. Bare minimum is chainsaw-safe trousers, helmet, eye protection, hearing protection.

  2. Buy first aid trauma kit and keep it attached to your body at all times

  3. Never use a chainsaw without telling someone else where you are and having a way to get in touch, even if incapacitated

  4. Learn how to sharpen it using a file. A sharp chainsaw is far safer than a blunt one. As a rough guide, sharpen it every time it needs new fuel or lubricating oil

There’s lots more, especially when it actually comes to trimming, felling and limbing, but I’m sure Henri’s missives will prove instructive to all of us.

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Great suggestions Henri,
Look forward to your articles, never knew how to site a dam, then bought 20acres of land and had to draw on this information……

Very useful, this precisely why I am on this forum