Work has begun on the top of the hill. It started with the official, OSHA (Occupational Safety And Health Administration) required signage.
Since there will be more than one person working on the site, this sign is required alongside the road that leads into the woods.
The signage will stay in place throughout the logging process to assure that anyone entering will be aware of dangers. If we were to have multiple access points, there would need to be signs at each entrance.
The next piece of necessary resources to arrive is the shovel. This wide, low piece of logging equipment has a long arm that can reach out and maneuver heavy logs, tear out stumps in the path and shovel around slash piles out of the way.
Our woods seem to be filled with equipment and people. So far we have one operator for the feller/processor, one for the shovel, one and sometimes two fellers (those manually cutting the larger trees) and Mike on our bulldozer. This truck is also the same one that will be hauling loads from the top of the hill.
Mike got an extra supervisor in the woods on this day. Jackson had followed him as he walked down the cleaned log after all the branches had been cut off. Mike had jumped down off the log and Jackson stayed on.
While Mike was attaching the logging choker (a steel cable that is hooked to the bulldozer drum), Jackson stood patiently for Mike to complete his task.
Jackson did finally get off the log when it was time to start pulling it down the hill and out of the woods.
The tree was crooked from the beginning, it had a sweep to it that made it look like a capital J with a green top. It was also in the way of the new road that was needed before the logging crew comes in to thin and clean up storm damage.
To the right you can see the top of the tree laying flat against the ground with the tipped up base that is still attached to the tree making for a good sitting spot for Mike.
Before the tree is dragged down the skid road with the bulldozer, Mike will trim off the curved base. That base will be left in the woods with limbs, branches and bits of other trees as habitat for forest creatures and nutrients for the stand of trees that will remain on the hill.
The log landing at the bottom of the hill looks is more messy than normal. The trees are coming down off the hill as Mike is ‘punching’ in the new skid road.
Most of these trees are smaller than we like to harvest, most only have one or two sell-able logs in them. Many still have lots of branches rather than leaving the extra foliage in the woods.
To help clean the area around the new road, the extra limbs and green growth will be removed at the landing and scooped into piles out of the way of the log deck and trucks that will haul the logs to market. In the meantime, the landing will be harder to keep neat and tidy, which is one of my main jobs during logging season along with firewood reclamation. It appears that my position will not be in jeopardy any time soon.
It has been an on-going conversation for nearly a year now. The situation with clean up and timber thinning at the top of the hill is a job that is just too much work for us to do by ourselves and we now have the task set up to be done by our local log hauler and his crew.
The crew showed up with their own ATV (all terrain vehicle) during the recent dry spell and we made a caravan of two to go up the hill.
The dogs were beyond excited to have two Gator-like vehicles to follow and/or lead up the hill. It was a very good day for them to show off and get some good exercise at the same time. Continue reading
While Mike was busy going round and round on the tractor spreading lime in the hayfield, I had a job of my own.
Sometime in the last month or so, a fir tree crashed down on the fence and fell into the field where Mike was planning on spreading lime on the field.
Looking closer at the felled tree, I found that it was not a whole tree but a ‘school marm.’ Continue reading