RicelandMeadows


Time to Harvest

ralphtulip2020

August 23, 2020

Recently, I was involved in a tree harvest in a woodlot that I had thinned and improved over ten years ago. The light and space created by my thinning and removing undesirable trees, allowed many trees to grow like mad. This Tulip Poplar that I am standing in front of, was only 18 to 20 inches in diameter ten years ago. It is a beautiful timber tree and has reached its time for cutting.

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It is a very sound and healthy tree. One of the main reasons for harvesting this tree was due to a recent clear cutting on the next door neighbor’s property. The absence of trees next door, caused these beauties to start blowing over. The selection method we used this time, was to take down the tallest, most vulnerable trees that were prone to blow over.

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This was a very tall tree. In her understory were several nice hard maple saplings. The next harvest in this woodlot will be that of mostly hard maple. In the meantime, the land owner can tap those trees for maple syrup. This sort of planning, preparing and good stewardship, will make a pay day several times before the next trees need harvested.

As sad as it was to see these giants come down, the promise of sweet things to come made it worth it. Horses pulled the logs out of the woods. Directional felling protected the growing young trees and good environmental stewardship protected the streams and wetlands found in the woodlot.

I am pleased to have been part of this harvest, but even more delighted to see my earlier efforts have such a positive effect on this forest. Now, I will guide the landowner in matters of maple syrup. What a wonderful life!



The Next Chapter
May 24, 2018, 11:19 am
Filed under: May 2018 | Tags: , , , ,

cowretire

May 24, 2018

I am stepping into the next chapter of my life. Retirement is upon me. I have been working to adjust. It is nice to sleep at night, all night, every night. Many years of swinging shifts around the clock make my body wonder what the heck is up…but mostly we are liking it a lot!

Rain keeps coming just about the time we can work in the fields again. I’m not worried. I only have a little to do and plenty of time to do it. I no longer have to worry about an off farm work schedule…man this is different! Like the sleep…I am liking it!

I came down with an awful virus, that had me laid low for a day or two. I am back on the mend and almost ready for whatever comes. I have been in the forge shop working a bit, daily chores and getting things all ready for our timber harvest, as we remove the dead and dying ash trees. In any case, I’m moving into the next chapter, of what I hope will be, a very long and happy book!



Making Ready
May 15, 2018, 9:12 am
Filed under: May 2018 | Tags: , , , , ,

sawmillphil

May 15, 2018

The rain has stopped all field work for now. I will be switching gears from spring field work to woods work. Our ash trees have all been killed by the emerald ash borer. An insect brought to us from Asia/China. It has decimated the ash trees in several states. There is no predator for them. The woodpeckers go after the larva, but by then, it’s too late for the tree.

It is my hope to harvest the dead and dying ash trees before they rot away. I went in search of a market for the logs. I have found a sawmill willing to take the logs and pay a fair price for the wood. I will have to get busy before I lose my market. I have a few nice logs. The rest of the tree will become firewood for the sugarhouse. It will be used for boiling maple sap next spring.

So, while the rain keeps us out of the fields, we will continue to work. The horses impact in our woodlot is minimal…even in the muddy conditions from the recent rains. We just have a small plot (3 acres) to plant to animal corn and our gardens to get ready for planting. I will switch back and forth between jobs as the weather dictates. It will all go smooth. I just have to make sure everything is ready to go. So far…So good!