Surviving The Season: A Forestry Graduate’s Perspective

A Blog by Luke Wheeler, Tilhill Assistant Forest Manager, North & Central England

Time flies when you are having fun… although I would not say every moment has been fun! My first planting season has flown by.  As an avid football fan, I can only assume it must be how a football manager feels coming up to the transfer deadline day.  Instead of trying to sign the next Harry Kane, we are trying to get all our trees in the ground before the planting window closes. 

As the final tree of the season goes into the ground, I have had time to reflect on the past six months. It has been a challenging and rewarding learning curve, here are a few things I have learnt along the way:


  • It is about the trees: From the mighty Sitka to the broadleaves, it is safe to say without these guys we would not be in a job. The “right tree in the right place” mantra is paramount. It has been encouraging to be involved with the diverse restocking plans and operations within my region, breaking the monoculture stigma that comes with commercial forestry.  
  • Organisation is key: Our sites are often remote, and the phone signal is usually poor. Sometimes organising a tree delivery can seem like a logistical nightmare… What3Words comes in handy and can sometimes save the day! 
  • People play a part: Positive or negative, people can influence the operation. Communication is crucial, whether that be with contractors, colleagues, or clients. 


But now, my attention will turn to keeping the weevils and weeds at bay!  


Until next time…