Monday, July 19, 2010

Cottage Micro Woodlot Management - Part One

This is a view looking up the driveway from the cottage, with a small stand of Red Pines pictured. There are about forty pines in this small triangular area, which measures roughly 60' (along the left) by 40' (back) by 80' (curved along the driveway), each tree spaced about four feet from every other.

The pines are not quite twenty-five years of age, standing between 18' and 24' tall, and if you look carefully, the inner trees are experiencing a lot of die-off in the understory branches.

My plan is to selectively thin out the red pines by removing about two of every three or so, while also removing the dead understory branches for aesthetics (these would fall off eventually anyway). Then I plan to plant one new tree for every two pines removed, selected from local native species.

As such, I have just started the work, removing six trees, mostly to open up the row beside the driveway, as well as one each in the left hand row (south facing, left side of the photo) and one in the middle. The ones selected to remain have all had their dead branches removed. Further back, the trees have yet to be thinned, but over this summer and next I will work my way in.

Already I have relocated two Eastern Red cedars, a Balsam Fir, and a White Pine, which are all visible in the photograph. With the pines removed, more light will pass through the canopy, and with added room, these smaller fill in trees should begin to climb quickly skyward!

The two other 'saplings' are our kids, Rudi on the bike, and Alexander exploring in his newly discovered sandals!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Arlo And Janis On Old Chinese Proverbs

Arlo & Janis

So find some time soon and plant a tree. Then in twenty years, with the tree approaching maturity, you can look to a friend and say "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago... So that's what I did."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tall Trees Start As Not So Tall Trees

I had a location in the backyard that was looking for a tree, so Katherine found this 'weed' located along the fence we share with our neighbor. As it seemed healthy, and was in the wrong location, I decided to move it. I will identify it one day, and from there determine whether it stays here, or is relocated to a better site.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why Farmers Die Using Chainsaws

My next door neighbor got a farmer buddy of his to remove a maple in his backyard yesterday morning. I was just heading off to work when I noticed, and nearly spit out my coffee in shock as I watched him work. I decided to snap a couple of pics before heading out. This guy could pretty much write a book on unsafe felling practices, see if you can spot the (at least!) half dozen or so safety issues that are hastening this guys death! I asked him why he didn't bother notching the tree, and he told me if he did that, he would have no idea where it might fall, and he didn't want it falling in my yard! I actually didn't get the impression he even knew what a notch was - simply, utterly, amazing; I am at a complete loss!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Starting Anew

About a year ago a portion of the lakefront property next to ours was cleared by the property owner. In doing so, however, his contractor 'mistakenly' cleared much of a half acre triangle of crown land that seperates our properties and runs from the lakefront back to the old Ottawa Arnprior and Parry Sound railway line. Not that I am defending a contractor that has problems determining where property lines are located, but most of the trees on the crown land and the neighbors lakefront were scruffy poplar and birch, and I didn't have a huge issue with the clearing, as it now gives me a perfectly valid reason to go onto the crown land and plant whatever I like, to hopefully grow into a curtain blocking the view of the rather ghastly clearing 'next door'. I have decided on a selection of specimen trees , including assorted conifers, hardwoods, and fast growing hardwoods to fill in the area, which I will actively 'manage'. Here are two of the original succesful additions, a Balsam Fir now almost 4' tall, and a white pine approaching 6', both being just over ten years of age now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Hunt For Gollum

Watch this absolutely phenomenal piece of cinematography, and you, like me, will be blown away! It tells a simple yet interesting tale of a ranger (Aragorn) and a wizard (Gandalf) and their search for a wretched, pathetic little creature named Gollum.

But the most impressive feature are the trees and forests found in this stunning short film. There are sweeping aerial shots of wide expanses of woodland, beautiful scenes of the barren understory of ancient pine, oak, and cedar forests, close up and detail shots of mossy tree trunks and gnarled old trees, and scenes of airy green glades surrounded by tall specimen trees, the list is virtually endless!

Oh, and also some spectacular sword battles with nasty orcs, under the deepening shadow of an old forest, of course! Click the box with four diagonal arrows to view in full screen, recommended.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

How Not To Fell A Tree

On taking a close look at the video in full screen, it appears the cutter may have a properly oriented notch that should direct the tree away from the house, but if it is a notch, it is very small, less than 1/10 of the trunk diameter. Also, when the tree falls, a noticable 'barber chair' is left standing on the back side of the tree as viewed from the camera, which indicates that the backcut was not completed properly. Fortunately no one was killed, but that is an expensive way to do unnecessary home renovations!

Just so we're perfectly clear, this is NOT an example of my work!