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James

splitting hazel?

I'm interested in creating a support for a large loganberry in our garden and I'm looking at a few alternives. The support will be 12 ft wide by 5 or 6 ft tall.
An option I'm looking at is uprights made from hazel rods spaced about 10" apart woven with either willow withies or riven hazel, again at about 10" spacing

How easy is it to split hazel? How do you do it? Anyone with experience here?

I'd probably be buying the hazel poles (& / or willow) from a local coppice, so it's not like I have a limitless supply to practice on. That being said, it doesnt need to be perfect: it needs to look OK, not fall over and last a couple of years, that's all.
vegplot

Very easy to split. It's what hurdles were traditionally made of.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U08AiNxq17Q&feature=related
Tavascarow

I've played a bit but no expert.
You can start the split with an axe or billhook then pull it apart by hand.
The trick is when the split starts to get thinner on one side you pull the thicker side to adjust.
I was going to link to the BTCV online book about woodland management which has an excellent chapter on coppicing but
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Probably something to do with Daves big society.
gz

fascinating. Would be even better with sound Cool
dpack

start the split with a sharp thing ,it takes a bit of practice to choose the best start line and to pull the sides apart to the tip
Mutton

If you build the support for the loganberries using diagonals - so a diamond shape lattice as the result, then the birds will find it far harder to perch on it than with a square lattice. We didn't bother to net our loganberries and got entertainment from watching blackbirds sliding down the diagonal arranged bamboo canes we'd used. (Which are slippery, so maybe they'd have a better grip on hazel and diagonal wouldn't help. Not tried using hazel.)
maryf

Hazel is really easy to split and weave with for hurdles etc. My son coppices loads of it for his thatching stuff, he's much quicker at it than me. I make wig wam thingys for plant supports and today I made a little fence to stop the dogs stomping on the emerging daffs and tulips.
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