Friday, 27 February 2015

New Bean Poles and Pea Sticks

Thursday started of mild and damp with some rain through the morning. As the rain stopped the temperature fell and a rather chilly wind developed.

We used to have a corkscrew hazel (Corylus Contorta) growing in the garden but it never impressed us as although it produced some twisted stems for winter every summer it leaves were infested with whitefly and they became as contorted as the stems. It began to grow as many straight stems as twisted ones and as a result many years ago it was moved down to the plot. It now helps to produce our bean poles and pea sticks.
It was time to coppice it once again. The photo above shows our hazel trees last September. The smaller one on the right was coppiced at the beginning of 2013 and the one on the left is the one that I have just coppiced.
Most of the stems were far too thick for my garden loppers and needed sawing through. There’s a little bit of tidying up to do around the base of the tree and then it can be left for a few years to reproduce some more bean poles.

Having given the tree a chop there’s still plenty of work left to do to produce some decent bean poles.
These are the coppiced branches which now need trimming up. The sturdy sections of stems need cutting into length of about 2.5m or about 8 feet. It’s more about judging by eye how sturdy the stem will be rather than been too concerned about its final length. All the twiggy bits cut off the ends can be used as pea sticks. 

Growing crops up naturally produced hazel poles looks much more attractive than using bamboo canes from the garden centre but there’s a lot more work involved growing and then trimming up the stems to make into suitable poles.


  1. What a great way to have a ready supply of sturdy poles for your garden!!

    1. Problem is that it might be another couple of years before we can cut some more poles.

  2. I love hazel poles, as you say they look so much nicer. I got some from our local community woodland last year, they were SO cheap, less than garden centre bamboo. I told them they needed to increase their prices! Probably won't be able to afford them this year.

  3. This takes me back - as a child I used to go out into the countryside with my grandad and cut hazel twigs for his peas (he said the peas preferred the feel of twigs) and moss to the line the hanging baskets. He was always most insistent that we only cut a few twigs from each bush and lifted only a little moss from each mound - an early environmentalist. Obviously, you wouldn't want hoards of people going out to strip the countryside these days, but a home grown bush and moss from the lawn are ideal - renewable resources with few travel miles. I use the apple tree prunings for my peas these days.


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