We've been having a problem with our woods, which is primarily pines. That problem has been the falling down of numerous of those pines. We first became aware of it about the time Dan made the posts and beam for the kitchen. At the time there were (and still are) an alarming number of windblown pines, most caught in other trees.
|Fallen and caught up in other trees, |
bending them over and weakening them.
Most are broken midway up the trunk, snapped like a twig.
|Broken off in the middle of the trunk|
|I can't help but wonder how this happened.|
Add to that some becoming uprooted, likely due to the softening of the ground as it becomes water logged.
We've researched disease and insect problems, which may be contributing factors. The experts' solution for both of these is the same, clear cut and burn everything to prevent spreading.
After reading Joel Salatin's You Can Farm, I've realized that just maybe we are witnessing forest succession. Fast growing, light loving pines are pioneer species and the first to claim an open area. They have a relatively short life span for trees, 30 to 50 years. This gives shade tolerant hardwoods an opportunity to establish themselves by the time the pines die off. Because of competition, our pines had grown tall and spindly, like light starved tomato seedlings. Because of that their trunks are weak, and it's amazing to watch them bend and sway like tall grasses in fierce winds. And a little bit scary. It seems that after every major storm we can find new pine trees downed. Or almost downed.
Anyway, back to the fence. There are several of these semi-fallen leaning pines in the area we want to fence for the new goat browse. The are, in fact, right over the proposed fenceline. To make it even more challenging, kudzu vines have pretty much bound these trees all together.
|6 trees caught up in each other, right over where the fence will go.|
Since we neither want these falling on the fence nor on the goats, they must come down before we put up the fence. That's the plan anyway, and where the project stands at the moment. Hopefully we can get those trees down soon.