Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Some before and after

Brenda and I have been working on at area between the cottage and the "master bath" and towards the west. Here are some before and after pictures. It shows a pretty dramatic improvement. Hope you like it.







Sunday, November 3, 2019


 This is what we do with the brush we clear. Mulch, mulch, mulch and more mulch.

Lots of mulch

Pig Disturbance

A couple of weeks ago, we setup a game camera near the sawmill. We have seen a lot of wild pig sign in the area and I was hoping to catch them on the game cam. I'd like to see how many, how big, etc. Here's some examples of the kinds of things we see from the wild pigs.

As you can see, they create a lot of disturbance in the forest. I'm not sure what they are looking for, but I'm not opposed to these guys turning the compost!

The first picture is of an area that Brenda and I discharged the wood chips from our wood chipper. It is a low laying area that is often wet and muddy. We put the wood chips there to start building up the area. We put these wood chips down back in late September, so they haven’t been down very long.

The second picture is an area that is very near the first. It is also a low laying area and subject to ponding. We haven’t put any wood chips there recently, but I did spread some there about six to eight months ago.

I’m getting the impression that wild pigs really like turning up mulched wood chips. So far, I don't mind the pig's disturbance. It seems to me that it might be beneficial to the forest. Now if it was my garden or pasture, I'd be pretty upset with the pigs.

Now for the game camera. Nope we didn't see any pigs, but I still like what I see.

One of our goals is to improve our forest to make it friendly for deer. Maybe we are getting it right.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Brush Grubber broke

Pulled, cut, chipped more underbrush, but then the brush grubber broke and we couldn't pull up any more yaupon.  Dang.

I got one stump up before the grubber broke.  I was very pleased with the stump I pulled, just wish I could have pulled more.  For perspective, the bar on the chain saw is 18".

As you can see from the photo, I cut the yaupon about two and a half to three feet up.  I wanted to leave a nice bit of trunk to use for pulling up the stumps.  I guess it will have to wait until.  Dang.
The part that came off the grubber is a spring that holds the jaws tight on the tree trunk.  You can see on the picture, I've drawn in where the spring goes.  Unfortunately, the manufacturer is out of the spring.  It's on a two week back ordered.  Yep, I ordered two.  I don't want to be caught short, again!  Dang!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Clearing Yaupon and making wood chips

We continued to clear underbrush.  We found a small pine stand as we worked in from the road.  It was satisfying to see the pines as we cleared out the sweetgum and yaupon holly.  This is a continuation of the area near our long suffering blackberry.

Here's a couple of pics of Brenda feeding the beast.  She's turning those pesky trees into wood chips.

 The wood chipper is great, but it is still a lot of work.  There is a hydraulic feed roller, but it sometimes has a hard time taking in crooked branches.  We have to help it along by pushing, rearranging and sometimes looping off branches.  It's a bit more work than burning, but we both feel much better with chipping the brush.

Here we've spread the wood chips over a bare section of one of our woods roads.  The bare dirt is not good for the environment and this  road was starting to show signs of erosion.  By covering it with wood chips it should help stop the erosion and hopefully start to build back the soil that has already been lost.
We cleared out a lot of brush and we've freed up the young pines.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Trying to save the blackberry

This little guy is a thornless blackberry.  I planted it several years ago.  It has struggled and I don't think it has ever produced a berry.  My wife and I were planning on clearing brush and thinning a small pine stand near where we worked a couple of weeks ago, but as I passed this miserable little guy, I thought, it's time to clear the brush around the blackberry and see if it will do better.  As you can see from this closeup, this is an after the brush has been cleared picture.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Thinning Pines

Well, this weekend, Brenda and I spent time cleaning up and thinning a small stand of pine trees that line one of our woods roads.

This stand was left by the forest mulcher.  The machine is just too big, so we thinned it by hand.  The thinning was with loopers and chain saw.  We then chipped the stems with our PTO driven wood chipper on the back of our Kubota.  Sorry no pictures of the wood chipper.  We also used the billy goat brush mower to help cleanup the underbrush.

I think the results look pretty nice!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Felled our first tall pine

We felled our first tall pine tree.  We chose a pretty bad tree.  As you can see this is one twisty tree.  It was over 90 feet.  We limed and bucked it into saw logs.  I'm not sure how the lumber will turn out, but it's a beginning.

My oldest son helped with the felling of this tree.  It was his first time taking down a big pine.  It's a little scary, but also a bit fun.

It was pretty amazing that the tree's curve just missed a small pine.

Here's the logs all ready for the sawmill.