Speaking Of Leaders

Were we speaking about leaders? Maybe it was only me speaking about leaders. I do seem to have an ongoing dialog running through my head about stories that I want to share with my readers, how I would like to craft the piece, what would seem interesting in a post, can I get a picture that describes my adventures,¬† ya da, ya da, ya da…

Back to leaders, I was in the corner of the woods that I don’t get to very often. It is the north facing side of the forest, out past where the trail cam is situated to watch over our caged seedlings and beyond where we logged in the last few years. The skid road has been narrowed by the amount of vegetation that has grown in since the last time we have done any thinning of timber in this section. Continue reading


Following The Dozer

We had a couple of days with a little rain, but now the skid roads have dried off enough to make the steep climb up into the forest. Mike went first with the bulldozer with the dogs anxious to work and I followed along with the Gator loaded  a couple of saws, the falling axe and wedges.

Following a bulldozer on a logging roadBy installing the road last year, we have better and easier access to areas of the forest where only the dozer could go before. Across the top of the hill is sweeping criss-cross patterns of roads that are wide, clear of limbs and easy to drive.

We have a small patch on the other side of this hill that has some trees that are in need of cleaning up.

Looking up to the treetops in the forest There are several smaller trees that have defects that will be cut for eventual firewood bundles and one larger tree that is big enough to make logs that has a broken top.

When in the woods we spend a lot of time looking up to check the crown of the trees, to determine how thick the canopy is, and to find those that have perished and no longer have a live top. We are also looking for broken limbs or tops that can come crashing down as we are working below.

What Is That?

I was reading an article recently about identifying trees during the winter time. I had not given it much thought before but realized that I did not really pay attention to trees that are dormant and don’t have identifiable leaves.

That is where the website; My Land Plan (sponsored by the American Forest Foundation) helps out. From that website, I found simple yet detailed ideas of what to look for when setting out to identify trees.

Broken down to the basics, you need to look for the top three B’s,

    • Branching
    • Buds
    • Bark

Text for idetifying trees.To assist further, this guide can be found from University Of Wisconsin site; leafprogram. I would suggest printing out a copy (it is only 7 pages long but well worth it) because you will want to take it with you to refer to as you scout about for those elusive identifications that have stymied you in the past.

The group at Thoughtco also has a good website if you are interested in full color pictures, videos and interviews with loads and loads of information.



A Group Of Helpers

Two cars filled with 3 adults and 5 teenagers came out to the farm to get a dose of exercise and nature. They became our planting crew for the day. We outfitted several of them with backpacks filled with trees and made the trek up the hill to the planting site.

A group of 8 helping to plant trees.After a few planting instructions, the crew worked to get the trees that we packed up the hill into the ground. While they were planting, Mike a few yards away, was digging seedlings that were growing too thick and needed to be transplanted.

Once we had the initial trees tucked safely into the ground, we began working on the full bags that Mike had ready.

It was a mild day and the rain that was forecasted held off until we were long off the hill. Two cars of mud-balls left the farm tired but happy from a good day out in the woods and we were off the hill in time to do the evening chores. It was a great muddy time and we are thankful for all the help.

Time To Start Fruit Tree Pruning

A dormant apple tree that needs to be pruned.They are called water shoots or water sprouts, those things that grow on the fruit trees that need to be cut off each year.

They have been growing all year but really add girth and length during the late fall and winter. Once they are trimmed off, the tree still in dormancy, stops trying to produce more sprouts and concentrates on growing leaves and eventually fruit on the branches that are left. Trimming out all the extra growth gives the trees room to grow larger fruit without breaking down the tree.

And Just Like That

The dry weather has had the fall leaves looking rather sad on the branches especially on the large leaf maple trees.

Some of the trees didn’t change color at all, but freeze-dried right on the limbs. The rainy days that have moved in is clearing the leaves and twirlers at an alarming rate and before you know it, it will look more like winter around here than the seemingly endless days of fall that we had been experiencing.


Not Autumn Red

While feeding the main herd of cows in the far field, a spot of red showed bright in the forest of green. The needles on the tree turned color in just the last couple of weeks. Since this is the in the area that we think we have a spot of root rot, we will get the tree felled and out of the woods to keep the disease from spreading.

A dying fir tree in the woods shows red in the green forest.We were able to get up the hill later in the day to take this tree down.

Once it was felled I had a chance to get a good look at the stump and was surprised to see no evidence of spangle or root rot diseases. Continue reading