Clean up: to the chokecherry trees

Normally, I would not have done clean up on a Sunday, but the chokecherries needed to be picked, and we couldn’t get at the two trees with the ripest berries.

Which turned out to be 4 trees… 😀

Here are the ones behind the garden beds where the old wood pile used to be.

The arrows are pointing to the two chokecherry trees. They are close enough together that I had thought they were just one tree at first. All around them are dead cherry trees with live cherry saplings coming up the bottoms, along with other odds and sots that have come up since I cleared things away last year.

I started on this side because I figured taking out the dead cherry trees would be the more difficult job. Especially since we were getting spotty rain, so I wasn’t going to string out extension cords to use the electric reciprocating saw!

This is how it looked when I stopped.

The fallen spruce tree and poplars behind them kinda make it look like they’re not cleared, but there is plenty of space to walk around them now.

While the girls started picking berries, I moved on to the other side. This is how it looked before I started.

In the spring, I had cleared a path to the junk pile to access the wood stacked in it, and I’ve been trying to keep things clear around the Saskatoons. You can see those on either side of what’s left of the path, and the arrow is pointing to the chokecherry tree. Which is actually two trees next to each other.

Most of what’s here is spirea and thistles, with a bit of burdock, plus a few other things hidden by the spirea. I figured this side would be much easier to clear, since I could basically just yank them out of the ground.

I really should know better by now.

The spirea and thistles were, indeed, easy to pull up.

First, I’d forgotten about the fallen spruce tree in there, and how close it was to where I needed to go.

It’s been there for a long time, so I was pulling out bits and pieces that had broken off as it fell, as well as breaking off or pulling out rotten branches that were jutting out all over.

I’d uncovered the one stump that I already knew about, then found another, smaller one, beyond it.

As I worked my way closer, I found something else.

There’s a reason we call what started out as a pile of neatly stacked boards that used to be covered with a tarp, a “junk pile”.

So… that’s… wire? It looks like the wire from those little decorative fences you can get to put around garden beds.

Also, there’s an old pallet there.

Because, of course there is.

Don’t mind me. After clearing out the old wood pile and dragging away a couple dozen rotten pallets, I’m not much of a fan of those anymore! 😀 I remember having to work my way around it, while searching for boards in the pile that weren’t too badly rotted.

As I worked my way closer, I found the chokecherry trees grew through the partially rolled up wire. Which gives an idea of how long it’s been hidden there!

That wire really does look like it’s from one of those little fences, undone. It even has cross pieces still wound into the twists.

At this point, I stopped!

It was clear enough to reach the trees, and most of the berries. So I started picking those, while the girls harvested carrots and little squashes. 🙂

The piles of debris will wait until tomorrow to be hauled away!

This pile is almost all spirea and thistles, with a few smaller branches from the fallen spruce tree tossed in. I had to pull up some of the wildflowers, too. They’ve shown up all over the place this year, so there are plenty more around the yard.

This pile is mostly the cherry I cleared away from around the first chokecherry trees, plus the larger pieces of the dead spruce tree I was working around.

These are pieces I set aside to keep for future crafting or carving purposes.

As for the chokecherries, we picked about a gallon pail of them. The girls had picked from the tree by the squash beds, and the ones among the lilac hedge, too. Lots were left behind for the birds. We are finding more chokecherry trees deeper in the spruce grove, that are not ripe yet, so we will have more to pick, later on.

Now to decide on what to do with them. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

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