Yesterday’s progress: trellises down, and pruning willow

Things turned out to be rather pleasant yesterday afternoon, so I took advantage of it to get some stuff off my to-do list.

First, the trellises.

The netting and bamboo stakes are all put away. I even unwound the blue twine from the pea trellis. We won’t be planting vegetables here again. We’ll be planting food trees and bushes in the area, instead (except for the area over the phone line, wide enough to drive a vehicle through, that we’ll be keeping clear). So, the trellises are coming down!

The five uprights from the pea trellis all broke at ground level. I was able to pull the others straight out of the ground, with only a little big of wiggling. You can tell by the dirty on the ends, which pile has those!

Since I had the materials, I used some of the pieces to make a buck and pole “fence” over the sea buckthorn. Only two have survived, so I only wanted it long enough to go over those. Hopefully, that will dissuade deer from nibbling on them. The gap in the hedge is right near here. One end is far enough out that it should make a deer not want to jump the fence there at all. On the trail cams, I’ve been seeing quite a few deer walking around this corner of the property, so it seems they are already not jumping the fence here much. There is another spot they prefer to jump the fence at.

Later on, I decided it was worth working on the willow. I’m after branches to weave into the wattle wall I’m building in the old kitchen garden, so this is getting two things done at once.

The trunks were barely visible from all the branches that had grown along them. Thankfully, we have an extended pole pruner that I can use for the higher branches, instead of trying to get at them with loppers from a ladder. You can see the vine has climbed it quite a bit, too!

The power line to the house is still not clear of branches. This job will be continued later, and includes the trees on the other side of the chain link fence.

The longest and straightest branches were kept, stripped of side branches and leaves, and a daughter started debarking the biggest ones for me while I pruned more, until it started raining. Then I grabbed a knife and helped debark. Wattle fencing isn’t normally debarked, but I want to debark the branches that are going to have contact with soil – because the last thing I want is for willow to start growing right next to the house! I love willow, but that is not a tree you want close to infrastructure!

There were some really straight, thin branches I kept, too, putting them on the pile of maple and cherry wood that’s already there. Who knows. We might find some use for them.

This is all the branches we got out of there, so far. Not even close to how many will be needed to weave a wall. Only the bottom few inches needs to be tightly woven, as it will be holding soil in, but eventually that will be on all sides, not just the “back” that is the focus to get finished first. The high parts of the back wall are to keep things out, rather than in. It’s going to be a challenge to find enough suitable branches for this!

Today is supposed to be a semi-warm day – with both rain and snow expected – then we’ll have several days with highs just barely above freezing, before it warms up again and stays warm for about a week. Hopefully. At least the rain will keep those willow branches from drying out. I’m hoping to at least get these ones woven in, some time today!

The Re-Farmer

One thought on “Yesterday’s progress: trellises down, and pruning willow

  1. Pingback: Almost clear | The Re-Farmer

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