Clean up: spruce grove, further down the line

Another lovely day for yard work!

The girls were awesome and hauled away what I took down yesterday, while I made a run into town to get the prescription refills that got missed yesterday.  By the time I got back, they were just finishing, and I could get started!

Before I started on the next section of trees, I got the anvil sheers out and worked on the area that was under the overhanging branches.  Here’s a look back at the area I cleared yesterday.

20180821.cleanup.sprucegrove.downtheline.lookingback

The wheel barrow is filled with all the little things I pruned out, and a few things dug out of the leaves, etc.

If you look in the wheelbarrow, there is a lighter coloured stem sticking out, to the right of the handle.

Notice it looks slightly… fuzzy?

That’s a wild rose.  And the “fuzzy” is thorns.

Wild rose stems are basically all thorns.  Little, skinny, vicious thorns.

The gloves we have are decent gloves.  Not the highest end, by any means, but good, mid-range quality gloves.

Wild rose thorns can go right through them.  I had to stop and get a daughter to use tweezers to pull one out of a finger, because I wasn’t able to do it one handed in the spot it pierced me!

When I start working further into the spruce grove next year, I plan to keep as much of the wild roses in the undergrowth as I can.  What I’ve cut away here will likely grow back, since I just pruned them.  The root stocks remain.  I will make decisions about them next year, as they grow back.

Here are the before and after photos of today’s progress.

This is basically where I left off, yesterday.  Once I took out the dead and dying tree next to the last tree I worked on yesterday, I was able to finish that one up, taking out more dead branches with the extended pruning saw.

My goal for today was to work my way down to a maple tree.

No, you can’t see it either of the photos above!

Nor the photos below.

Though I did thin out some smaller poplars, I’ve left the bigger ones.  I am hoping, as they get more sunlight throughout the day, they will not lean quite so much as they grow larger.

The farther I worked down the line, the spruces seemed to get thinner, and more crowded.  Quite a few were dead, but I was surprised by how many still had live growth happening.  I still avoided working the inner row of trees, which is where most of these are.  A few times, I did have to prune away dead branches and twigs, so I could access the trees in the outer row better.  It should be interesting to see how they fare, next year.  It is very typical for the lower branches of black spruce to be dead, and it’s not always a reflection on the health of the tree.

As I cleared away the low hanging branches, I found more and more wild roses and, among them, little dogwood bushes.  I took out those that were large enough to be a tripping hazard, and will clear the rest out another day.  When I work further into the grove, I intend to leave any dogwood I find.  They make great underbrush.  It will be interesting to find that balance between open space and undergrowth that I want to foster in here.

But that will wait.

The maple I was using as my goal post was something I was intending to keep, like I am with some of the poplars.  Then I reached it and found that it was not the original tree, but growing out of the base of a rotten stump.

After removing the rotten bits, I found the rot extended quite low into the moss (all along the outer edge of this area, where the poplars and this maple are growing, the moss is several inches deep).  I wasn’t sure if the tree had much support, so I basically yanked it back and forth.  It seems to be holding its own, so I straightened it as much as I could and tamped the ground down to support it.

We shall see if it survives.

When I work on the next section, I should be able to reach the fence line.  After that spruce you see in the background, there is an open space of moss that I’ve been using to turn around with the mower. 😀  There won’t be a lot to clear, there.

There are a number of larger, downed trees around here, too.  Once I reach the fence, I will start working towards the driveway.  The goal is to make the fence accessible, so I’ll be leaving the downed trees unless they are at the fence line.  I know there is at least one that had fallen on the fence itself, before we moved out here, that my older brother had cut loose.  So I will also be examining the fence itself, as I go along, and see what repairs might need to be done.

I’m quite happy with the progress and how it is looking.  The labour is not without it’s price, however!

20180821,scratches

Both arms, my lower legs, and even my abdomen, are covered in scratches!

It’s sweaty, dirty and sometimes bloody work.

And I’m loving every minute of it!

The Re-Farmer

2 thoughts on “Clean up: spruce grove, further down the line

  1. Pingback: Clean up: Spruce grove perimeter, reaching the fence! | The Re-Farmer

  2. Pingback: All set, and checking things out | The Re-Farmer

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