Techniques And Machines To Manage Forest And Land In France

Go for it.

I would be interested in orchard management, also how to safely remove individual branches (eg storm damaged). I do quite a bit of green woodworking but know zero about forestry.

I would be very interested, we struggle to keep on top of our garden/land. Any tips and advice would be welcome.

Thanks to everyone for your feedback, I have looked at the comments/suggestions and I want to clarify what areas I have experience with.

In terms of forestry I have worked on private and ONF forests, doing both selective felling and clearing up, and also clear felling everything and then being involved in the re-planting of the forest.

Brush clearing of open land and in forests, hedge taming, reclaiming wild unusable areas of land and returning them to something manageable.

Trimming trees near lines, over fences, near houses, dealing with wind blown trees, fallen trees and hung up trees where one tree has fallen against another. I am sure the list goes on in regards to forestry and trees, but that’s enough I think.

So I decided to start writing articles about the most important parts first and that is safety and how I approach it. My first article has been posted in the gardening section (thanks for suggesting where it should go) and is called Chainsaw safety part 1.

If I am going to gamble, I prefer that I have the odds in my favor, and by approaching safety as my number one priority I feel I give myself better odds against something happening that I might regret.

I cannot say how many parts there will be to the chainsaw safety section, I have started writing part two, but it’s only when you sit down and have to write out how you use a chainsaw that you remember how much is going on that you do automatically that a casual observer may not notice or understand.

Also I am conscious that even though I have explained my articles are not tutorials and that everyone should undertake professional training in the safe use and maintenance of a chainsaw and not rely on what they read or see on the internet, it is still possible that someone may read what I write and feel they can or should do it the way I do it.

I write to provoke thought on how I approach it, I do not say that if you do it like this it will be safe. YOU are responsible for how YOU work and YOUR own safety.

Therefore my articles will appear slowly as I have the time to properly prepare them and hopefully there are others out there that if they have the time could write about how they approach land and forestry management?

I have never built a dam - I bet that takes some planning and work? Who fancies writing about that?

Managing an orchard - Well how big an orchard are we talking? One type or multiple types of fruit? I have ten apple trees, some pear and six cherry trees, hardly a massive orchard and it’s only my first year of managing it. It is very different from managing a forest or copse - so who has exp in this, could you write about your exp with managing an orchard?

I joined this forum for help with how to survive in France, I have ended up trying to give back to the forum, how about you, do you think you could add something that people might want to hear about and find useful?

Just start a new post in the gardening section - see where it takes you.

I know this - I wish I had a bit more knowledge about land management and forestry BEFORE I purchased in France.

Play nice - be happy


Henri I am so very grateful for your offering to cover these subjects. Safety first.

If anyone has any suggestions as to how to source chainsaw trou (or, better, overall thing with straps not sleeves so as to have easier movement so safer), reasonably, please post. I already use all the other kit but based on Henri’s advice I’m not even going to start up my bigger chainsaw when I get it, without the trou/overalls as well.

Hi @anon46004223 - this sounds a nice idea. Giving up your time to share experiences so others can benefit and make their own choices is commendable.
I would be interested to learn about well / fountain water and using it in the house as potable water.

PS. For chainsaw articles the first advice should be to buy in the expertise unless the operator has more than a good level of understanding of the risks. They are very dangerous to the untrained!!!

Preparation of the work area around the stump and making having at least 2 escape routes could be a chapter all on its own in my opinion, Henri.

Both times I’ve nearly hurt myself while felling trees had nothing to do with either the chainsaw or the tree not falling how I wanted to. They were due to my not clearing the area around the stump and tripping on the undergrowth I left behind.

Hello Guy, interesting comment you make, can I ask why, after your first potential accident, why did you not modify your working procedures?

I am in no way trying to be a smart ass, I am interested to know why, when you had a close call, that you went on to have a similar close call at a later date?

I have witnessed many chainsaw trouser strikes by other people when I have been on certifying courses, luckily none of them were hurt, their eyes go as wide as dinner plates and they usually drop the saw. From my experience and what I saw, the strikes were caused by either fatigue or by laziness, what happens is the operators end up with their feet in the wrong position and they are cutting with the saw in a position that they cannot fully control or they over reach and as the saw completes the cut and passes through the branch they cannot control the saw and bam! Trouser strike!

What amazed me, every time, is that there was NO SENSE of ‘Christ that was close’, the attitude instead was ‘oh well, it happens’ - Er, no, it doesn’t, if you have a chainsaw strike your trousers or boots and you do not see an issue with this, then you would be well advised to take up a safer pastime like saltwater crocodile wrestling.

Escape routes when felling - The 5-15-90 rule springs to mind - 90% of fatalities occur in the first 15 seconds, within 5 feet of the base of the tree.

This teaches us that the sooner an operator is further away than 5 feet from the base of the tree, their chances of being killed or hurt is reduced by 90%.

How many people start felling trees and as the tree starts to go over, they stay rooted to the spot watching the tree go over, when they should be looking up, checking nothing is falling on them (dead or broken branches that have been dislodged etc) and making their escape from the danger zone.

Please remember that I am not offering tutorials, you must not read what I write about my experiences and how I approach forestry work, and then say that you are now able to do it because you read how to on SF. That would be a serious mistake. Get yourself properly trained please.



Hi Karen

My advice would be to try on as many different chainsaw trousers as you can find, until you find some that ‘feel’ comfortable to you, can you bend down in them without feeling constricted? Are they so baggy and floppy that they create a ‘catch’ risk.

By buying something comfortable, you will not dread wearing them, same with the chainsaw boots, make sure they feel right and not like some WW 2 clod hoppers.

The easier we can make it to wear and use the right safety equipment, the easier it will become habit forming to wear the right gear.

As for brands and where to buy? I cannot offer any advice, sorry, I use Arbortec Breatheflex trousers, but they don’t suit everyone, they have a very high back and take some wearing in, they are also a heavy pair of trousers in the rain and snow, so what suits me, may not suit you. I also have some Stihl pro climbers trousers, they are very flexible and light, but they do not give me the same confidence that Arbortec stuff does, again, it’s personal choice - this is why you would be advised to visit a few good quality forestry supply shops and try some gear on.

Hi Rob, I am planning to set up a pumped system from my well later this year, I will try and take photos and document how I go about it. I plan to use the well water for the garden, yard and where possible in the house, not sure if ours will be drinkable, let’s see.

In regards to chainsaw articles I have already posted my first article in the gardening section and the first lines of the article are:-

“Disclaimer, first and foremost if you are using a chainsaw it is your responsibility to learn how to use it safely, nothing that you read or see on the internet will every be able to replace hands on professional training in the safe use of a chainsaw.”

But, I am becoming more conscious that my articles might be taken as a tutorial or how to, which of course would be a mistake if someone attempted to use a chainsaw purely on what they read on the internet and without formal training.

I am struggling with this and may well decide to discontinue writing about the chainsaw side of stuff, I will give it more thought.

If you proceed with a water project, any chance you could document what you do, any issues and tips would be well received, thanks

Thanks Colin, what may appear obvious to one, may seem impossible to know for another, I have posted in the gardening section, cheers.

Nah, that’s a fair shout as I should indeed gotten my **** together after the first mishap. Doubly so as I’ve always prided myself on being safe with dangerous tools, especially as I was a competitive clay pigeon shooter for several decades.

Pure laziness on the first occasion. On the second, the “Get it done and get home for a beer” voice was louder than the “This slope and the roots are a trip hazard, we should be cutting from the other side” voice.

Luckily for me, both times I went base over apex were after the trees were felled and I’d put the saw down before moving back to check out if I’d dropped it where I planned.

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