Can somebody advise how to plant a new woodland within an old woodland? We have about an acre of woodland on limestone facing West and the centre of the woodland is completely devoid of trees but full of brambles, nettles and thistles etc. Some Hawthorn has managed to grow but even that is struggling. There are rabbits but no deer (we think).
How do we clear this area and keep it clear so that newly planted trees can establish themselves? What time of the year is best? How long do we need to keep the weeds down so the trees can establish well?
Don't worry about the wildlife, please. We also have an old quarry which is completely overgrown and which we plan to leave as is - so plenty more brambles, nettles and thistles there!