Last weekend, we had a gang of friends come and help us take down a few trees. Thanks to everyone who was willing and able to assist in exchange for a little free food. It may have been good food, but we got the better deal!
You may wonder why we were taking down trees if we are wanting to be green, environmentally friendly. We had a few reasons, which I will get to in a moment. First however, the trees will be buried in hugels. By burying the trees, the carbon that has been captured by the trees over the decades of their lives will be buried. No carbon release! Furthermore, as they rot they will feed the plants growing on them. 25 years of fertilizer in one shot is not a bad thing.
On to why we took these trees down.
On the south side of the property, we had two 55′ high tamaracks. They blocked lots of light from getting to the ground where we want our hugel food forest to be. Tamaracks are a brittle wood, and branches regularly snap and fall off with wind or freezing rain – not the best thing to happen to a young garden. The last thing with tamaracks, they have acidic needles which drop every fall. Like most coniferous trees, the dropped acidic needles are meant to keep other plants at bay, so they tree guts all the water and nutrients in the soil. Also not ideal for a young garden.
Towering above the property, at an estimated 65 feet high is an Ash tree. Not only is it above the property, it is above our house, and a neighbouring triplex. The branches above our roofs are a foot in diameter. They should never have been planted that close to a building, and they should not have been allowed to grow that high above one. If a limb ever breaks, it will go through a roof. If that is not reason enough, we also plan to tear down the existing house to build our future house and greenhouse. The tree is right where the back end of the future house will be. You might have noticed, that I used the present tense in referring to this tree. We rented a 45 foot elevated work platform. We needed an 80 foot one to do the job safely. We were able to give the tree a good trim though.
The third batch of trees we took down were some manitoba maples. They are a weed tree, taking lots of damage and they come right back. A wonderful example of evolution at work. However, they were left to grow between our house and the neighbouring triplex. They grew tall, shooting up and over our house, getting to the light. At 50′ tall, they were not just beside our house, but above it. Like the tamaracks, they are a fast growing which also translates to brittle wood. Not a good thing above a house. Also the roots are not good for a house’s foundation.
There were three others on our property that grew up above our neighbours land. They asked for them to be cleared so they could have light too. Be nice to your neighbours and they will be nice to you, so we obliged, and are burying that wood too.
Overall, we have a great weekend, lots of tree down, and lots of ground work to do in preparation for making the hugels in a few weeks. Maybe you will join us at that work and educational day?
Enjoy the rest of the photos, Carolyn