Wordless Wednesday - March 23, 2011
Crocus, Scilla, Eranthis - Three for Thursday

Tree removal

Garden in summerThe light in the garden says spring but the temperatures are those of early February.  Change comes fast in March and April, usually.  The light levels indicate that preparations for this year's perfect vegetable garden must begin.  There is one component absolutely necessary for a vegetable garden.  A garden can have perfect soil with the best mix of compost, sand, silt, and clay along with the larger pieces of minerals in the form of rocks and pebbles.  The micronutrients and microorganisms may all be present in abundance all ready to aid in plant growth but, without light, all is naught.  Sunlight is necessary for high vegetable production.  There are a few vegetables which will take less than full sun and still produce.  Lettuce and some of the cole crops will produce with a half day of sun and lettuce actually needs a bit of shade during the high light days of summer.  Gardens are not static, never done, always evolving and growing, and mine is surrounded by trees. DSC_0008Beautiful mature oaks, white pine, a few maple.  Mostly oaks and oaks, white, black, and pin are wonderful shade trees with deep roots.  You can always plant under the shade of an oak but you cannot plant vegetables.  Not with great success.  The past few decades have been  wonderful for tree growth as evidenced by the growth rings on the latest victim. DSC_0018
This stately oak was starting to cast a shadow on the garden.  It had a beautiful form and it will make beautiful lumber from the bottom trunk and it will also share its warmth as the wood is burned in the wood stove next January.  It has not gone to waste.  Taking down a large tree can be a major project especially if it is located in close proximity to a house or barn.  Thankfully, I now have two Equipment Managers.  Husband and son took down two oak trees on Saturday last.  A tractor comes in handy if there is any breeze which may misdirect the landing zone.  DSC_0009Chainsaw and tractor, along with very handy men made short work of downing the trees.  Taking the trees down is the easy part.  Taking them apart requires much more time and effort.  I believe it was Henry David Thoreau who wrote the words  "Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice" referring to the chopping and then the burning.  Even with a chain saw it is still a job which requires energy and produces a bead of sweat on the brow but it is also a job which produces a tangible and satisfying conclusion.  Wood on the hearth and light for the garden.  Here is a video of the procedure.   The commentary is directed at my filming companion, 2 year old Hailey, who watched her Dad and Papa  take down a tree on a very cold March morning.   DSC_0016Here is what is left of the other oak.  You can see how much work still needs to be done before the corn is planted in this patch.