Wednesday, January 30, 2013

One off the list!

This is one of those post that I hope the Boss doesn't read. 

For the last two years Joe has asked me to clean out some trees underneath the power line that supplies the farm house. He's tended to say things like "when you get sometime" or " if you have some free time." Well, I didn't have extra time this week, I simply made it a priority to check this one off the list.

If you look closely, the power line is visible in the photo. The trees growing below it are White Spruce, Black Walnut, Red Oak, Black Cherry, and Shagbark Hickory. The ten rows of these trees had been planted around ten years ago. Unfortunately, in another couple of years they will be touching the power line.

Here is the part I hope Joe doesn't read: only 45 minutes later, the after photo:

I used the tree shear to remove trees and stack them on a brush pile. Have I shared with you all how much I appreciate that implement? I didn't treat the stumps in figuring that the sprouts will give the deer something to nibble on this spring and summer. And for once that something will be a tree we don't care about. 

You might notice in the after photo that I didn't clear a wide area underneath the power line. My thoughts are, in another three or for years I can start procrastinating all over again. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blizzard Clean-up

In Holly's earlier post she had some great photos of the blizzard. Here is a photo of a mostly cleaned up black oak that had toppled over in the same storm. The damage from that storm was caused by two factors. The initial factor was a wet and heavy snowfall. Secondly, the winds that followed put a substantial stress on the already burdened trees.

I wanted to share this photo for a few reasons. It shows my freshly wielded wood splitter in the field. An action shot! Also in the picture are a few tools that I find invaluable for cutting up and handling of big trees. In addition the firewood round shows additional clues as to why this particular tree failed.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Forester vs Arborist - What's the Difference?

Simply put, a Forester will care for the forest as a whole while an Arborist will care for an individual tree.

Foresters will receive their formal education and training in college. The education and training of an Arborist is less formal than a college degree. The International Society of Arboriculture  offers different certification opportunities that are recognized as the gold standard of arborist education and training.

On January 6, I finished my requirements to become an ISA Certified Arborist. Now we can say that the tree farm has an official tree guy! Seriously though, ISA offers many learning opportunities, and I look forward to putting that to use on the farm.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On Metal

I make this post with a bit of trepidation. I do enjoy to fabricate things........with metal. I know, I know, this blog is for a tree farm. My previous post have dealt with all things organic. Give me a hand saw and neglected saplings and I will prune with a light heart. In the spring I anxiously wait for the oak buds to break and my favorite trees to come to life. However, with wielding and fabricating the sense of permanence, exactness, and control is very unlike anything found out in the wild of the tree farm.

My metal work is something I am trying to improve. As Holly revealed in an earlier blog we have a new chainsaw mill that will be used to slab bench and table tops. These slabs need bases, and my wielding needs to be at a consistently higher standard. I once heard it said "that novice wielders live the law of five and twenty, wield for five minutes and grind them for twenty." Thus my motivation to wield more.

The photo shows a log cradle that I fabricated to hold large rounds that would otherwise roll of the wood splitter. The idea of a log cradle I can not take credit for. The one I have created is replacing an original that was not as durable as it should have been. It was built with flat pieces of metal. I have used square tubing for rigidness. I did use a flap wheel to grind down some of the wields, so don't give me more credit than is due. 

As a side note, I do try to save equipment maintenance and repair for winter. The shop is always nice and warm and trying to work in the field with the deep snow is tough.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Introducing the... "Name that Pond" Contest!

The contest has been extended a week! Get your submissions in to win!

As mentioned, we're working with a couple pond experts to do some work to two of the ponds on Arington Tree Farm:
Aerial view of ponds at Arington Tree Farm.
·         “Pond A” is the largest pond on the farm and was dug about 15 years ago. It is spring-fed and during the spring, Canada geese love to raise their young here. Our plan is to make it bigger and deeper, install aerators to keep the water oxygenated and eventually stock it with fish (maybe saugeyes?)
Partial view of Pond A

·        "Pond B" is a smaller, more hidden pond on the farm. Nearly entirely surrounded by trees and brush, ducks like hanging out in this spring-fed pond. Our plans for this pond are less intensive but include creating better access for more wildlife viewing and perhaps a canoe "ramp" for easy in/out.
Partial view of Pond B