Our dead wood hedge in the orchard is part of the circle of life in the micro-ecosystem that a traditional meadow orchard is.
Pruning and clearing (of invaders and insurgents from the surrounding forest and farmland that then compete with the fruit trees for space and resources if left unchecked – pines and poplars are the main offenders) ensure regular replenishment:
And so the hedge grows with the years,
providing a home to many a feathered and furry orchard resident
as the wood ages further,
turning into a veritable treasure trove of lichens and moss: