Yesterday afternoon, we had a constant, light rain.
The perfect time to light a sketchy fire!
Of the several fungus infected tree stumps we need to burn out, I started with the only one that isn’t cut flush to the ground. I figured I should get the bigger one done first; the rest will get done very quickly, in comparison!
The metal ring I rolled over from where I found it by the storage shed was just the right size.
You can see some of the fungus from last year, dried up on the side of the stump facing me. On the other side is the remains of an ants nest. When we cut what was left of the tree down and left the short length of trunk next to the pile of diseased branches we’d pruned earlier this summer, the ants moved with it!
So no killing of ants involved. 🙂
Of course, I made sure to have a hose handy, even with the rain. The wood used as fuel is from the stack of diseased branches, which all need to be burned.
I set myself up with a chair and an umbrella, too. 😀
It took a while to build the fire around all of the stump, partly because I needed to keep the fire small. It wasn’t directly under another apple tree, but close enough to potentially damage some of the branches.
I’m not too worried about that particular tree. Of all the apple trees, that one has the smallest, least edible apples on it.
The birds and deer like them, though, so that’s good.
This tree is one of the ones I want most to protect.
It’s at the far end of the row of trees, and next to one of the stumps cut flat to the ground that we found fungal growth on, too. This tree already has tasty apples! It has the wonderful combination of sweetness and tartness that I love. There is one other tree, at the very end, that also has really good apples, though they take quite a bit longer to ripen. The main grafted part of that tree died, and it’s the suckers from the base that are producing such nice apples. Usually, it’s the other way around.
So I’m rather motivated to keep this fungal infection from spreading! We really should have done this in the spring, but the weather was not at all co-operative. Spores for these emerge in the fall, so we have a bit of time, yet.
When I stopped for the day, I scrounged for something to cover the stump with. The fire was out, but might still smolder, so I wanted to make sure it couldn’t flare up or spread.
That top of an oil drum is something I fished out of the edge of the nearby spruce grove when I cleared the north side of it. The metal sheet was just one of those things among the garbage we dug up near the old garden shed.
The fire got quite a bit of it cleared. I don’t know how far into the wood the fungal infection gets, but even if the fire killed that off, I still need to get the stump down to ground level.
For now, I’ve taken an ax to it to break it apart a bit. We’ll start another fire on it later and repeat the process as often as necessary.
We’ll see what the weather is like.