Garden Diary - March

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Timber Stand Improvement
Tuesday, 19 March 2024

We've lived here for about 25 years. The house was only a couple of years old when we bought it. And over time the landscape where I'm not very actively gardening now looks like a drawing that has been scribbled over. Non-native invasives such as multiflora rose and both vining and bush type honeysuckle have grown. The field cedars that grew when the once open site called Strawberry Hill became more and more shaded have died out.

Looking down toward the road, it looks like this.

It's time to clean up. Ian from Steve and Son Tree Service came over to discuss what was wanted. With a smile he nodded and agreed that timber stand improvement was an option.

There are some shrubs I have planted: Heptacodium or seven sons, a Symplococcus or sapphire berry,
(it doesn't fruit as I only have one and it wants a companion), some star magnolias, etc. I went around
tagging all of these with a noticeable "Do NOT Prune" sign to avoid potential over-enthusiastic mishaps.

A mature oak near the house, surrounded by saplings getting larger year by year.

With them removed, there will be no competition for water and nutrients.

Their attention to detail means the multiple chain saws are kept well sharpened.

Debris, including dead trees dropped to ground, is removed, chipped, taken off site.

Brush is loosely roped together, then the skid steer is used to move it out.

Lauren is champion with the skid steer, moving all types of debris from brush to logs
while doing her best to avoid daffodils and assorted other bulbs that line the path.

Ryan, up up and away in the bucket lift, clearing dead wood out of the old oak.
Not as good a view as you might expect, he said, as there's still "tree" above.

For the trees further away from the driveway such that the lift cannot be used
he climbs with belt and ropes, gracefully moving as needed from here to there.

It may be calendar spring, though weather is chilly. And windy. But winter will return.
Unfortunately, these days there's always dead ash. These logs looked too good to discard.

Cut to movable size they were brought up the driveway and piled near the log splitter.
Paul will cut them to stove length (that's 18 inches) and split, then stack for burning
Once the seasons turn and winter comes.

Timber stand, after improvement. As you can see the extraneous "scribbles" are all gone.

The numerous bulbs will appreciate the increased sunlight. Daffodils will gain in strength.
Ditto colchicums that leaf out now and flower in late September. An excellent day's work
by the crew of four from Steve and Son Tree We are always pleased with their work!

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