This past weekend we decided to round up a few volunteers and devote some long overdue time to our "woodlot". Over the past 20 years we have planted close to 1500 trees, a combination of softwoods and hardwoods and some understory shrubs. The survival rate hasn't been great and the trees that have grown needed attention. The softwoods had become crowded and were "self-pruning" with dieback. The hardwood whips on the other hand have a tough time competing with the quackgrass, goldenrod and milkweed.
I saw bundles of wine boxes behind my local LCBO store and it occurred to me that they could be used for the cardboard we needed to keep down the weeds and grasses around the base of the hardwoods. It turns out they were bundles of 100 to 200 boxes and very heavy. Because of liability issues the manager wouldn't let me help move them. So she and one of the other female employees literally did all the heavy lifting. Many thanks to Kathy at the Gerrard St. store!
We weren't exactly sure how the division of labour would work out but that became clear Saturday morning. A few weeks ago Alex and Christopher had flagged pine and spruce trees that were damaged or needed to come down because of overcrowding. Alex and our friend, Avo, used the chainsaw, bow saw and pruning saws to thin the softwoods. Diane cleared grass away from the base of the hardwoods and covered the cleared area with cardboard boxes and I delimbed the pines and used the branches for mulch to secure the cardboard boxes.
The first step for Avo and Alex was to sharpen the chainsaw with a file.
|Avo filing the saw while he and Alex compare notes.|
|Mixing the oil and gas.|
|Alex and Avo coming up with a strategy for the tallest pines.|
|Alex working on topping the pine.|
|And Avo takes his turn.|
|One of the apple trees girdled by rodents.|
|Diane, ready to start, before she achieves her zen-like state.|
|And now......off in a world of her own.|
|Black Walnut Saplings with a Crinoline of Cardboard and Pine Mulch|
Christopher, recovering from a nasty flu that had left him achy and exhausted, came to life for the snacks at cocktail hour by the bonfire.
|Cocktail hour by the bonfire|
|Christopher enjoying the appetizers Diane brought|
|Alex assesses the apple trees|
|And now there's skylight in the pines!|