Clean up; west fence area trees

We had another cooler day today; after this it’s supposed to heat up again, so I took advantage of it to continue in the west yard trees.  I am so close to being finished here (I’ve decided not to do the rest of the fence line itself for now), I’m getting excited, because it means I can finally move on to the spruce grove perimeter. 😀  I’d like to get as much as I can done there, before I have to stop for the year.

The first thing I did was finally take down the two dead trees by the smaller willow. (The before and after pictures are taken from opposite directions)

The one that was about midway between the two willows was a bit of a job.  It was tall enough, and leaning enough, that it was well into the branches of the big willow.  Which means that, after I cut the trunk, the base just swung over to the big willow, and there it hung.  It did not want to come down!

The wood from these trees is going to be kept for the fire pit.

The tall stumps are being left until we get a full size chainsaw.

On to the next area…

There’s not a lot of visible difference here, since I worked in this area yesterday.  I took down the dead half of the maple trees.  After that, most of what I did was take down dead branches from above, except from the one mostly dead spruce that will be taken down entirely.

Next areas; the last of those rows of spruces!

Also, I found a third little tamarack hiding in them.

It really looked like a spindly, dead spruce.  I honestly probably should have taken it out, but I really want to keep the tamarack. I also should probably have thinned the spruces out more, too, because of how close together they are, but they look strong and healthy enough to make it.  So for now, they will stay.  Next year, perhaps, we can transplant the tamarack, instead.

After this, I finally got to working among the beeches.

The before picture, I’d taken yesterday.  If you look along the beeches, you can see a single trunk, slightly out of line.

It turned out not to be a trunk at all.  It was a branch that had fallen straight, and was standing there, held up by the other branches!  You can even see the broken bit it had come from.

I’ve been finding quite a lot of dead branches held up by others.  One I pulled down earlier and moved out today, filled the wheelbarrow all on its own!

In the northernmost row, I found another Colorado Blue spruce, with an elm tree growing right next to it.  Well.  Two elms, really, right up against each other.

The spruce was planted deliberately; the elm would not have been.  Because of how big a Colorado Blue can potentially get, I took out the elm and some small maples near it as well.  I probably should have taken out the maple to the right of the foreground in the after photo too, but it seems to be doing okay.  We’ll see how the spruce survives.

Here’s another view of the rows.


By this point, I didn’t really have the energy to keep breaking down the cut pieces and hauling them out of the yard, or dragging out entire trees.  I opened the gate at this end, so I wouldn’t be weaving through trees to the gate by the fire pit, then around the pile.  Instead, I was pushing my way through really tall grass, and wearing down a path.  As I was taking down bigger and bigger dead branches, and thinning out more trees, I just started piling it all in the space that had been plowed.  I will drag it out another day.

The row of trees closest to the beeches appears to be all crab apple trees.  Most have no apples, and the one that does, has almost none on it.  This is not a good place to plant fruit trees. :-/

Moving along the rows…

This area is not complete, though I might not do much more than this, this year.  The elms in the north row needed to be thinned out; one was right up against another, and it turned out to be dead.  The larger maple to the right in the photo will also be thinned down.  The side branches would have been suckers that never got pruned back when they should have.  The main trunk in the middle is suffering for it.  I wasn’t able to get all the dead branches out of it, and won’t be able to reach a lot of them until the side trunks are cleared out.

Once that is done, it will allow more light to reach the apple trees, too.

Speaking of which…

This is where I was working when I stopped to take a phone call.  Which was well timed.  I was at the point of telling myself it was really time to stop for the day, but I kept doing just a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit…  and before I knew it, an hour had passed. 😀

I don’t know that I’ll be able to work in here again over the next few days, but when I do get back to it, I will continue thinning the crab apple trees out.  There is a big one at the end, with large branches reaching towards the power pole.  That part of it is covered with apples (it looks like another of the ornamental apples trees, they are so tiny), but only where the morning sun touches those leaning branches.  The rest of the tree is struggling, with few leaves and many dead branches.  It’s all just too crowded in there, with elm and maple tangled around each other in the canopy, blocking the light for most of the day.

The eastern end of this area of trees is where they are growing under the power line, and where the arborist will be trimming some of them back.  They can do the tall stuff.  I will do the short stuff! 🙂

When I came out after my phone call to get the last after pictures, I got a couple of others of interest.

Last month, I decided to take down a small elm tree because it was growing directly under the power lines.  As I have been doing in many other places, I left a tall stump to go back to later.  You can see it here, next to the spruce tree I’d pruned the lower branches from.


This is what it looks like, now.


Maples and elms are very resilient trees.  You can cut them back like this, and they will start growing back!

I could leave it to grow, and just keep pruning it short so it will never reach the power lines.

I don’t know if that’s a good idea, though.

A decision I can make another time.  For now, I will leave it and see how it does.

Later, while visiting Beep Beep and her kittens by the old garden shed, I saw something I’ve been finding in a number of places around the yard.


A whole bunch of holes, dug into the ground.

I’ve found some in the open area between rows of trees behind the storage house.  Now that I’ve cleared up so much of the trees, I’m starting to find them there, too.  I am guessing it’s a small animal digging up insects or grubs?  Some of the holes are quite deep.

Anyone know what might be making these holes?

The Re-Farmer

One thought on “Clean up; west fence area trees

  1. Pingback: Clean up: west yard trees – FINISHED! | The Re-Farmer

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