April 18, 2006

Losing trees in preparation

I'm starting a multi-year project this spring, changing the current mix of shade trees and ornamental plants on my property and increasing the number of edible or otherwise useful plants. I'm planning to use techniques from permaculture, developing a system of plants here that will hopefully require fewer inputs - like fertilizer, pesticides, weeding, and water - while producing useful and even tasty results.

Unfortunately, getting to that means some fairly big changes. Today I had seven trees removed from the yard. Well, felled, actually. I kept all of the trees' contents, which are, when you think about it, largely the soil I have here taken up and combined with air to create a new form. The tops of the trees were mulched, giving me a huge pile of mulch to use in the garden, and I'll be using the trunks in a number of projects I'll be describing here eventually.

Branches coming down
Branches coming down.

Logs remaining in the back yard
Logs remaining in the backyard.

I had a hard time finding tree care places that would come and give me an estimate, playing a few rounds of phone tag. Unfortunately the work needed to be done fairly soon, as other projects depended on both removing the trees and having the materials created by the trees available. Cascadilla Tree Care had trimmed the trees here well a few years ago, and did all this work this morning, pretty much perfect timing for the next few projects I'll be getting underway. I've posted a gallery of photos from this morning's work.

I find the new appearance of my yard pretty shocking. I liked those trees, and it'll be years before I establish the new character of the place. Still, it's a first step on what will be a long road.

Posted by simon at April 18, 2006 10:33 PM in ,
Note on photos


Mary Ann said:

Wow. I can imagine what a wrench it is to watch those trees fall and to get used to the open space remaining.

Most of what is left on the ground is, of course, carbon taken from the air over the life of the trees. The carbon will be released as the mulch decays or the trunks are burned. So, it's good you're replacing them with living things that will continue to draw carbon from the air.

When I look at the sites that calculate people's carbon footprints, I wish they'd take into consideration how many trees the person is growing in addition to how they heat their houses and what kind of cars they drive and so forth.

Rob said:

I seem to be a couple steps behind you. Perfromance Systems Contracting just finished with my windows and insulation. What a difference. Next on my list in no order is: removal of wallpaper, paint outside of house, finish the roof, take down trees, plant garden, install solar panels (provided Dryden decides it is good), redo electric and then replace my wood stove with a corn burning stove. I enjoy checking in on the progress and get great ideas every now and again.