Clean up: spruce grove, south fence continued

Last year, before it finally got too cold to work on cleaning and clearing the trees, I did manage to get some areas on the south side of the spruce grove done. Just a bit by the garage, and more more by the gate.

One of my goals for the day was to finally start working on clearing that middle section. Since we now have a working electric chain saw, which is the perfect size for the job, I figured it would be nice and quick. When cutting some of the larger trees, I’d made a point of leaving fairly tall stumps, so they would be easily visible and no one would trip over them. I intended to cut those flat with the ground, too.

I tested the chain saw out, first, of course.

Then went back to cutting by hand.

Check this out.

See those cuts, lower down on this piece of dead tree?

That was done with the chain saw.

The cut above was done with a buck saw.

It turns out the chain is completely dull. It didn’t want to cut at all!!

So I’ll have to pick up a chain saw sharpener. There probably is one, somewhere around the farm, but I haven’t a clue where. Something else to look for when I go into town later today.

I may not have been able to use the chain saw, but I was still able to clear the fence line.

Here is how it looked before.

The picture on the left was taken from right at the garage, while the one on the left was taken further in. This area by the garage was part of what I cleared a bit last year.

Here is how it looks now.

You can now see all the way to the gate.

There is a row of elms that I used as my guide. Everything between the elms and the gate got taken out completely, except for 2 large poplars out by the gate end. I also cleared out some dead trees, dead parts of trees, and dead branches. I’ll have to come back with the extended pruning saw to get more dead branches.

One of the challenges of the job was to cut things down, while also keeping them from falling on the fence. All the the fence posts are rotten and broken at their bases. They’re basically being held up by the barbed wire – at least in the areas where the wire is still attached to the post. In some places, the U nails have fallen out, and the wire is just hovering next to the post, instead. It wouldn’t take much for the entire fence to get knocked down!

I would so love to just take the whole thing out! Which we can do only once we can be sure the renter’s cows can’t break through the outer yard fence again. Otherwise, we’ll have cows at the house. 😀

To the north of that row of elms I plan to thin, but not clear, the trees. There are a lot of poplars spreading in there, and I will be leaving some of those. Some of them are crowding into other trees, such as the apple trees I found in the area, so those will be taken out. I’m seeing blooming Saskatoons, and hope to leave most of those. I want to open things up there partly for better visibility (I want to be able to see the driveway from the house), partly to open up the ground to light (my mother planted a row of flowers that bloomed last year; they should do better after things are cleaned and cleared, and eventually I want to seed wildflowers in there) and partly because there are a lot of dead trees that need to be hauled out. Right now, I can’t even get at those.

Among the things I want to leave, along with the Saskatoons, are any Dogwood and wild roses I find. These will also do better once things are cleaned up. Once they are denser and healthier, they will provide shelter for the grouse we sometimes see in this area.

I’ve been finding quite a few small, dead spruce trees along the fence line. It looks like they had been transplanted in the same row as the elms, but none survived.

By the time the spruce grove is cleaned and cleared – especially of all the dead trees that have fallen – there are going to be quite a few open spots. I hope to transplant more spruces into the spruce grove, to fill in those gaps. It will likely be another year or two before we get to that point, though.

The clearing I did today has been a good start. I will continue clearing a bit more until I can access those dead trees I need to take out. Some of those are big enough that I’ll be breaking out the gas powered chain saw we were able to get fixed up, to cut them into sections we can carry out more easily.

Hopefully, the chain on the gas powered chain saw is still sharp!

The Re-Farmer

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