Monday, July 29, 2013

Cleaning up Husker Road


This photo was taken  about half way through  the project.

Over the past few weeks Arik, Graham, and I have been diligently working on the south side of Husker Road to improve aesthetics and prepare it for future trees. Removing the under story vegetation will allow for more sunlight to hit Husker Road in the winter and allow for the snow to melt more easily. 

This particular area has been habitat to buckthorn, honeysuckle and grapevine for approximately the last fifteen years. The grapevine that we removed was unbelievably huge! 

When the vines get this big they can suffocate the host trees. They climb up the trunk and take over the canopy with their broad leaves shading out the other leaves and  twist tightly around the branches. Arik and I have decided to remove the vine when and where we can.

Here Arik is removing a grape vine and Graham is rolling up a bit of rusty barbed wire.
This stretch of land that we have been working on is not very large, but it has a lot of history and character. We left a couple of neat looking snags and stumps that keep stories from the past alive. We removed an old barbed wire fence that at one point must have been used to outline a pasture for cattle. Along the fence we found glass soda bottles and old Pabst Blue Ribbon cans. It is interesting to see into the past of the people that worked the land before us.





When the three of us were working on the project it was a triple threat. Divide and conquer was the name of the game. Graham became an expert with the chipper. The three of us would stage the trees/shrubs that we removed and Graham would have it all chipped in minutes.
This is the chipper that Graham used!

I spent most of my time on this project using the handsaw to remove buckthorn, honeysuckle and the wild grapevine, then chemically treated stumps with Garlon. I also got to use the Bobcat with grapple attachment! Any of the vegetation that was deemed too small or too large for the chipper was piled and I got to practice moving the piles with the grapple. We added the piles to the larger brush pile just down the field from where we were working. 

Last week, while we were finishing up the hardwood/ spruce stand, we piled the brush on the bare ground. It was perfect place for me to practice with the grapple without damaging the ground. I was a bit nervous at first using it near Husker Road, but I think I did pretty good for it being my first time. 

Arik bounced back and forth between using the tree shear and the chainsaw. I can never get over the capabilities of the tree shear. It can just pick trees up and move trees around like it’s a walk in the park.
Arik using the tree shear

The Husker Road project is not completely finished, but I think that it is at a good stopping point for us. There are thoughts of wood chipping the whole thing. Arik is going to let sit for awhile and see how he feels about it over the next couple of weeks. Maybe we will be back, but for now it feels good to drive down Husker Road in the morning and see the work we have accomplished! 

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