With the bees sorted out, for now at least, all attention has moved on to the trees. I won’t put my services out there as an arborist – not by any near means – but I’ve seen them in operation a few times and took some mental notes which came in handy.
I also don’t have a lot of free time, so this mission gets performed for an hour or so after work (when it’s not raining, or I don’t have other commitments or work deadlines, the latter which has been in the way a lot of late) or during whatever times we can snag out of a Saturday. In order to get a quick start every time, we’ve got all the tools, two-stroke, lubricant, exes, saws and so forth lined up in our old wheelbarrow, so we can just wheel it out of the tool shed and get cracking. Funny thing is, every stage of the project the wheelbarrow just gets fuller and fuller, up to now where it starts getting hard to find small tools in there.
The basic process is pretty simple – saw off a few trees when the opportunity presents itself and then process them. The front yard already looks like a lumber yard, so we’re trying to process as much as we can every time we’re on it. But of course, with some people’s intricate design we have a very complex processing process – more about that below.
I’m also using the wind direction opportunistically. At some places we have to drop the trees in a certain direction in order not to damage beehives, tanks, small trees, and so on. So when my trusted “assistant” is not around, I saw a huge chip on the downwind side and then use the wind to help me drop the tree in the right direction as a saw through from the windward side. For a few of the bigger ones I’ve had my “assistant” pull it down in the right direction with a rope – we’ve had to do that for a few of the first ones as they didn’t line up nicely with the wind direction. Tying the rope high enough to get some leverage was an interesting exercise, especially if have a hint of vertigo. Unfortunately, we have no photos of this process, it was climb, tie rope, cut, fell, next.
Fortunately, a certain young gentleman correctly spotted a lot of resources coming available and decided he would use some of it to build a shelter between the trees and the water tanks. This was quite a great rush of … to the brain when it revealed itself – but in the long run, it has been doubly advantageous. Firstly, because he had a vested interest, I got a lot more help and encouragement than I would normally have gotten. Secondly, it created a great avenue where the long logs could be utilised. They’re too thick for our mulcher to process, so I would have had to use them for edging or some other labour-intensive task. Fortunately, they are now very productively turned into building materials.
As a by-product, we also get some firewood from the off-cuts as well as a massive pile of mulch. We’re not even half-way yet and we already have a pile of mulch that would have cost quite a few dollars to get delivered.
We’ll keep you posted how the shelter goes – the “engineer” has some very, very interesting and overly ambitious ideas!