Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Treewalk and exploring beyond our boundries

Last week I was fortunate enough to meet with Daniel our orchard pruner and his assistant Adam.  They were happy to take me on a arborist's tour of our property. I know some of my trees but am still learning. Walking around with these guys for an hour was quite enlightening. Our farm has many different kinds of trees! Here's the list that they helped me identify:
  • Maple
  • Chestnut
  • Black Locust
  • Walnut
  • Black Walnut
  • Wild Cherry
  • Pears (Comis, D'anjou)
  • Apple (lots of Red, some smaller yellow crabapples)
  • Wild Hazelnut
  • Hawthorne
  • Oregon Grape*
  • Sweet Cicely*
  • * not trees but were cool to learn about. 

Since their primary work was on the pear and apple trees we started there. This tree above is about to lose this large limb leaning to the right. We need to craft a brace for it relatively soon before it has to bear the weight of fruit later in the year.

Here's a cluster of chestnut trunks that were coppiced quite a long time ago. I'm excited about the chestnuts we'll collect later in the year.

I'm told that this is a black locust and that the wood is really dense and straight, great for tools and building.

This was a really exciting find, a red Trillium flower that Daniel tells me is quite rare. It's a native of Nevada County and really quite beautiful.

Here's Daniel clearing away the base of this apple tree. His concern is that over the years that soil has built up around the root crown.

Sure enough, there's about 6" of built up soil that will eventually kill the tree. The root crown should be right at ground level. This is really important since the soil build up laying against the trunk will lead to rot and disease or pest introduction. Gotta clean around the orchard trees :)

After walking with Daniel I headed to the very rear of our property and just kept walking. There's a BLM meadow that abuts a state park directly east of us that continues for a few miles. This area used to all be orchards from 100+ years ago and this BLM land is dotted with old overgrown pear and apple trees. I followed some of the game trails to find my way around and ran into this huge old apple tree with a sweet circle of green grass around it.


To the north is the wetlands and creek that flow west towards and through our property.

Here's another old apple tree...

...and an old pear tree?

On the far side of the meadow I found another forested area with huge manzanita and madrone trees.

My walk back was beautiful watching the sun set in the west. Our farm is at the far far end of the meadow in this photo.

Another 3 old fruit trees, clearly lined up in what's left of a row of trees.

The wetland looks just a bit marshy but the water was flowing pretty quickly and the ground through the whole pasture was moist if not down right wet.

When I returned to the farm I stopped at the workshop to poke around and discovered that someone has been trying to break in! Good thing this door was chained shut from the inside for other reasons :)

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