Making A Road From Here To There

The root ball of an upended fir tree. With the couple of days of nice weather Mike was able to travel the logging roads with the bulldozer to the top of the hill so we could assess the storm damage along one of the ridges and into a canyon.

This is the root ball of an up-ended 100+ foot tall fir tree. After the very wet fall and winter, the wind that rolled through in April took down many tall trees. The root balls hanging in the air and the tops are down into the canyon. Hundreds of younger trees ranging from 30-40 year old, had tops snapped right out of them. In spots, the forest floor is littered with the green tops, most are not big enough to even be salvaged for firewood. The cleanup begins with the up-ended trees.

The first cut will be to remove the root ball from the tree. Hand work of pulling dirt, branches and understory vegetation will need to be done first so that the lower part of the tree is exposed for the cut. The canyon drops steeply below the root ball and cleaning around the base is about 10 feet below this root ball.

Sitting over the edge of the canyon, a skid road will need to be punched in with the bulldozer in order to reach the tree beneath this root ball with the long cable.

At first, the road looked fairly accessible and was made quickly, but it soon turned steeper with more understory of brush, small trees and the steep drop off into the canyon.

At times the bulldozer had to be tethered to a large fir tree by the winch and cables to avoid the steep plunge.

Yellow bulldozer barely visible as it builds roads in the woods.Barely visible in the understory, the bulldozer is scraping out a road for the removal of the downed patch of tall firs.

To the lower right is the root ball that will be the first to be detached from the toppled tree. From this early assessment, it looks like there are at least 10 trees in this one spot that were up-ended although it is hard to be sure through the tangle of vegetation in the canyon below.

Rain is again in the forecast and it may be a week or more before we are able to get up the hill to complete this job.

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