Thursday, 14 February 2008

Decimating Trees

I spent the morning at the prunery with both Ann and Regis and between us we got four or five more rows cleared ready for the tractor to push all the brash into a big heap for burning. When I went back to see them at about 4 pm they had just finished the remaining rows in that orchard. There is one more orchard to go but I’m not sure if we are collecting wood there or just clearing out under the trees. Even if that is finished, more work is awaiting and I will have to brandish my petrol chainsaw for that.

Regis has had some of his mature oaks felled. The contractor only wants the trunks so all the branches remain. The deal is we clear it up and then 2/3 of the wood we prepare is for us, one third to Regis. An excellent deal I think and I get fit into the bargain.

When I got back from the prunery I decided to give the alpacas a treat. They have been living on hay for the last 3 months having eaten all the grass in their small paddock. Using some of the metal hurdles I have I made a tiny enclosure onto the grass outside their paddock. When I opened the gates they were there, in a line, heads down and munching. When I closed them back in the paddock three hours later the area was nearly bare. I think I can move the hurdles a little and include some more grass for tomorrow but after that they will be back on hay for a week to let this grass recover. I will be so glad when the new paddocks are well grown and the fencing done so they can have a large enough fields that they can’t graze them bare.

The weather was sunny and warm again and the wind of the last two days dropped so the tree planting and the kitchen were put aside as I tried to get on with reshaping the trees on the front lawn. It’s top priority as the buds are beginning to form and it will soon be to late to prune. I use prune very loosely there, decimate is probably closer as there is close to only ten percent of the trees remaining.

First tree picture is tree one before chain sawing. I’d removed most of last year’s new growth at the end of last year.

Picture 2 has tree two (in the foreground) in its before state, although I had removed some branches last month, and tree one in its after state in the background.

Picture 3 is tree two in its after state.

The weather is due to hold tomorrow, and for the next 4 days, so I will be continuing with the Rene Claude tree tomorrow.

The electric chainsaw is working well and I’m getting more proficient using it. I did have one problem though. I managed to cut the remaining piece of washing line. Not a problem in itself but in doing so I managed to knock the chain off its guide. Well I’ve never changed a chain before, not even on a bicycle so that’s why I was back with Ann and Regis. Regis has used chainsaws for most of his life so was able to show me how to do it and what the tension should be as well. I could have done it by guesswork but a chainsaw is not something I want to maintain by guesswork. I do have an instruction booklet but the one language that isn’t in there is English

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