Friday, June 11, 2010

Finding replacement trees for newly flood prone areas

I have come to the realization that the pond on the property is going to flood quite a bit of the timber. I need to salvage what I can, but also find suitable replacements for the species that cannot stand wet feet for a prolonged period. A few more oaks died, luckily junky ones full of epicormic sprouts, and some eastern redcedar that will not rot before I can get to them. I will probably take the few remaining willow oaks that flood because it is only a matter of time before the flooding suffocates their roots. I already planted cypress last year before realizing just how deep and prolonged the high water gets. A few drowned, and quite a few could be seen this spring sprouting above the water or competing vegetation. The competing vegetation needs to be cut down around these carefully. I decided something else needed to be tried to the North of the pond, and was offered some free cottonwood cutting by a fellow from the Forestry Forum. The problem of figuring out which species to put in ended right there. Free trees is the best way to experiment. The area is along a relatively plant free water course exiting the pond along the north end of the dam. I planted them in a strip between the dam and water course where they should have enough moisture through the dry parts of the year. Planting was simple. I just made sure the buds faced up and stuck them in the ground with 2 nodes above the surface. The pic is from a week after planting and they were budding out nicely. a few did not sprout from the late time I planted these and a few were stepped on by animals knocking off the sprouts. If they work out well I plan to find a way to clear out the brush and grass on the other side of this seasonal waterway to make a proper seedling planting area and plant cottonwoods and bald cypress. Well, the time between new posts should be shorter now that I have a plan, simple projects, and some time to get them done.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Suffering as a home body

I never realized how much I enjoyed the outdoors until circumstances forced me to stay at home. First, our beautiful little girl was born last August, and took up a lot of my time. My wife then developed some medical problems forcing me to stay around the house. Hopefully the end is in sight with a surgery and 6 weeks of recovery. I am amazed at the number of crazy ideas I have come up with during my time at home. Outbuildings, cabins, docks for the pond, all growing in size and complexity as time passed. Harvesting and management plans filled my mind with dreams of getting out to the property more often. Last week I settled down and determined what it would take to spend more time out there. Shelter of some sort would definitely help by letting me take the wife and kid with me, but the budget is tight. I took all those interesting ideas and drawings and filed them in a drawer. They were to large for the budget or to complex for the amount of time I have at the property. As I was strolling through the grocery store, a Mother Earth News DIY quarterly caught my eye. It contained an article called called "Build this Cozy Cabin" which can also be found on their website. Simple, inexpensive, and some of the larger timbers could be made on the sawmill out of post oak to save more money. The loft gives me a nice place for my daughter to sleep when she gets older and needs more space. It can also be found online here: . Now I have something to plan and budget for that will let us all enjoy the woods! I made time a few weeks back to plant some cottonwood cuttings that were given to me by a fellow member Brian Beauchamp, but that is post for another time, with pics!