All day long I picked up sticks. Well actually they were small branches. Annoying twiggy things, the dead ones that hang on the bottoms of fir trees as they grow larger. Especially if planted close together, much too close in the case of the ones we inherited. The result is you get a mostly dead tree, or in a lot of cases considering how close they are, a totally dead tree, with lots of twiggy branches at the bottom. These prevent you from walking in amongst the trees. Its an impossible thicket not to mention a total fire hazard.
Add to that the fact that trees planted too close together tend not to do well, especially if you don’t thin them out. This is what the previous owner of our land had done. Planted lots of Christmas trees – mostly balsam fir and white pine – then ignored them. Today we have only a few decent trees but most are skinny and spindly or dead. The last two hurricanes took a big toll on a lot of the balsam fir and they died in large clumps. So we need to get them down, well the ones that have not already fallen down that is.
So phase one of the project has begun. First we have to remove all the lower twiggy branches just so we can move around under the trees and get to the trunks. If you cant reach the trunk you cant cut the tree down. Some of the ones in the area we did today are going to stay, but others will be going. So the branches have to come off.
We spent all Saturday doing this. Steve cut the twigs off with a chain saw and I collected them up and moved them to the storage rack. This way we can actually move around under the trees (hooray finally) without having to fight through a thicket and the branches are out of the way when we come to cut down the mostly dead trees. You really don’t want a lot of stuff on the ground when you are working with a chain saw. We got all the first phase of the trees done but there are a LOT more to go. Our storage racks are already full (more on those in a later blog) so phase two is going to be a little different. There are still a LOT of trees to clear out before planting season begins.