Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Forest thinning and chicken shacking


So this is the backside of the barn. The small building addition on the left was most likely used as a chicken coop or "chicken shack" as our kids have dubbed it. The siding and roof are in clear disrepair (the photos do make it look worse than it is). It has a concrete slab floor and for the most part the bones are pretty good which makes it worth fixing up again.  Today we mostly just took an inventory of what that project will look like. I'm not sure when we'll start working on it but now we have a good idea what will be involved.


Our property has about 7 acres of forest which hasn't seen a natural forest fire in some time I'm guessing. This lack of fire has allowed the incense cedar trees to choke out a lot of other flora with it's acidic needles and prolific saplings. What's worse is that the saplings are all mostly dying for lack of sun under the canopy of their enormous parent trees.  

We spent the better part of a weekend day cutting down these little saplings. You can see in the photo above where I cleared them out on the left side and where I hadn't yet cleared out the right side. The little trees don't have much chance without any sun and they end up being shade scorched and dead. We'd probably leave them all alone except the ground cover of the saplings creates a dangerous wildfire situation where the saplings become a ladder for fire to get up into the taller trees. When we're all done with our forest maintenance we'll shove most of the trees into a chipper and use it for mulch.

We used some of the larger trees to line the trails in the forest, something I really enjoy. We're in the process of defining what trails we want to create and lining the paths with logs we cut down is really satisfying. :)

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