Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Felling Trees to Make Way for the Sun

Though the temperature never rose above freezing today, it was such a gorgeous day, we decided to take down 10 small (relatively speaking...ranging from 3" in diameter to 8", the tallest being about 25' tall) trees to keep them from blocking the sun on our vegetable garden that will be planted in the spring.  Though they are small now, they all would eventually become quite tall...birch, tulip poplar & sugar maple trees will not only get large but have full crowns of leaves, creating much shade.  We will also be felling some very large trees in the near future, but have solicited assistance from a friend of ours who knows almost everything there is to know about felling trees (more about this project soon).  This is a perfect time of year to fell trees, because there are not leaves to contend with and nothing else growing around them to inhibit access.

This is a photo taken while I was standing in front of the garden bench we made; you can see the clump of trees we took down behind the small white pine.  Those two big trees you see just right of center will be coming down in the next project.

This is the clump of tulip poplars, beech and sugar maple seen a little closer.  Let me clarify one thing though...we are not ones to cut down trees.  In fact, it has taken quite a bit of discussion with Mountain Man before we both agreed it was wise to take these down.  The ultimate goal is to be sure we have enough sun for our vegetable garden, for lack of sun results in small and fewer veggies.  So felling these trees serves a purpose...and we will have some good firewood to boot!

This is the clump after we took down all but 2 trunks; our chain saw battery needed to be charged.  Yes, we use a battery powered saw for these smaller trees...much easier to maintain than a gas powered saw, and does an excellent job (we have 2 batteries, but one is less powerful and wasn't strong enough for the 2 trunks left standing)

These 2 trunks were actually part of one tree, and grew into 2 trunks about 1" up from the ground, so we took them down one at a time.  Have you ever watched a tree fall?  It is always different, but this one fell slowly...
...by bit...
...until it was down.  This one fell silently, with just a little snap when it finally dislocated from the trunk.  Of course we had to move it out of the road. 

And this is the last one...
...which fell swiftly and cracked loudly.  I didn't even get the chance get a picture of it falling (mostly because it fell where I didn't expect it and had to make sure I was out of the way!)  If you look to the top right of the picture below, you will see the roof of our cabin.  This might give you a little perspective of where we are compared to where the garden is. 
It took us about 2 hours total to get all the trees down and out of the way, so the sun was setting over the mountain, making it hard to get a good photo.  But you can see a clearing where there used to be trees...let the sun shine in!

It was good work, though we still have to cut all the trunks and limbs for firewood.  But let me tell you, by the time we were done, my toes, nose and fingers were numb!

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Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Dad/Pepere said...

A gentle falling of the tree is a sign of good felling technique. Less trauma to the surrounding areas and much safer. Congratulations to you both! Now, as a tree hugger, and better known as "the Lorax" in my oak treed association, I suggest you confirm the sun's location and cut only those that block the sun. Hugs!

Lise said...

We are learning...and Sir Lorax, you need not worry about our taking out more than what will let the sun shine in...we are being very conscientious! Hugs back!