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Glendaruel Forest and Glendaruel Spade
Forestry Memories
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No: 3785   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1966
Glendaruel Forest and Glendaruel Spade

Photograph is courtesy and copyright of Forestry Commission, Forest Research, Roslin, and provided with help from Glen Brearley. FR Photo number No C4022 taken by B J Lambsdown.

This is the first of three images of the Grudaruel spade being used for planting trees on large peat ridges produced by the early Cutherbertson single furrow ploughs. The ideal planting position for the small trees was down into the peat with its roots close to the double vegetation layer under the plough ridge. This was normally achieved by several downward cuts with a well sharpened garden spade and the resulting plug levered out to leave a small ledge about 150mm above the compressed vegetation layer. The spade was then used to cut a slit in the ledge through to and the young tree inserted so that its roots were in the vegetation layer. The tree was firmed up by a well aimed boot to peat ledge. It was quite a slow operation which raised the cost of planting quite a bit.

It appears that the Glendaruel spade may have been used by teams of two people, one using the spade and the other inserting the plants. It is obvious from the photograph that the spade operator positioned themselves on top of the peat ridge and pressed the spade down from this ideal position with his foot. This enabled the relatively easy removal of a deep V shaped plug of peat through to the vegetation layer. By walking along the ridge top successive notches could be quickly and easily achieved.
The second team member with the bag of trees would have lined up a young plant at the back of the v-notch, its roots in the exposed vegetation layer and then pushed the plug side on back into the V notch and firmed with the foot. The attached PDF shows this part of the operation.

Can anyone confirm if this tool was used by teams of two and also can the man be named?
Picture added on 17 January 2018 at 19:58
This picture is in the following groups
Forestry Areas
Forestry in Action
add commentComments:
John Keenleyside recalls that the spade was designed by Sandy Morrison the then Head Forester at Glendaruel Forest and may have been initially made at the Glenbranter Workshops. The design was taken up by the hand tool maker Bulldog as shown in Image No 3677

Added by Norman Davidson on 13 February 2018.
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