The Cleft Gate Company

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Well Sourced Oak

Our oak comes from thinnings. Oaks are planted more densely than will ultimately be required so that the trees are drawn up without too many side branches; there is a wider choice of the best trees to remain; and there is some cash injection for the woodland owner without having to wait for the final harvest in perhaps a hundred years or more.

Trees chosen to remain should be disease free, have a fairly straight trunk, a good height before branching and a broad balanced crown. They should be fairly evenly spaced. The thinning operations will allow the remaining trees better access to water and nutrients and allow them to go on to be the majestic oaks of our descendants.

The thinnings are carefully marked then felled by local experts. We buy from both Forest Enterprise and private woodlands as locally as possible. Before any thinning operation happens it has to be granted a felling certificate from the Forestry Commission which ensures that the management plan is environmentally acceptable. We also visit the woods to see the source of our timber and to select what will be suitable for cleaving.

So our timber is a largely organic crop, benefitting the local flora and fauna. The woods are a green lung and resource for local people. We work mainly with hand tools. The gates are pretty environmentally sound.