Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back to work

I spent some time the past couple of weekends venting my frustrations on horse weeds, poison ivy and any other weeds that happened to grace the blades of the brushcutter.

The results of a few hours:

Looking north from under the cottonwood trees I discovered some more pines that were struggling for daylight, bringing the total to around 20. One of the taller white pines' lower branches were rubbed off by the deer and I replaced the small cages with a woven wire cages.

If I had run the mower through this, I would have mowed over the pines, some hackberry and small walnut trees. Using a hand brushcutter, I've been able to (for the most part) find the small 1-2 foot trees and save them. A few perished under the blades but it's hard to kill a walnut once it's rooted.

Number One son and I used hand sickles last fall and was able to clear off from under the cottonwoods in 8 hours. I cleared off twice the area in about three hours using a polycut blade on a Stihl FS55. I was really pushing the limits of that machine as I was asking allot from it but it did a good job. I've since added a larger weapon in the arsenal with a steel cutting blade and productivity has increased again.

Once cut, I sprayed this section with a mixture of broadleaf killer and insecticide to help control the ticks. It's below the pond so no worries of runoff to harm the fish. Not that we have to worry about runoff since it hasn't rained in almost three weeks and the forecast is spotty at best.

The lack of rain is taking its toll on the pond and hurt the hay, cutting into the yield. The maple seedlings have been struggling while the pin oak are doing okay as they had a chance to grow their deeper tap root. We've hauled water from our sand point at the homestead for the past two months to keep them going.

I really picked a good time start a tree farm...

We had a few discoveries, plenty of mistakes and a pleasant surprise or two this summer at Camp Stranded.


David aka True Blue Sam said...

All of the tree planting projects in my district will have to be replanted next year. The weather people are comparing this drought to 1988, but it dried up much earlier this time, and our corn didn't even pollinate. Newly planted trees didn't have new buds formed before they wilted.

strandediniowa said...

I almost bought trees from the state nursery, now I'm glad I procrastinated. Maybe this fall.

The early maples and pin oaks are doing good but I lost the later planting of oaks. I'll have a report on the coffeetrees soon.

There's talk of 40% drop in harvest this year for corn and that's with more acres planted. Corn futures over $8 Thursday morning.

Drought and inflation are going to cause a few farms to fail this year.