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Archive for September 2011

Trees Part 2

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I spent a morning walking the property with a fellow from the local conservation authority recently to discuss trees, look at the soil and see if they could or would participate in planting trees.

I’d been pricing out buying bareroot stock which is are trees about 1 – 2 years old and about a foot high.  Easier to plant the smaller stuff and the potted trees that are 10 to 15 feet in height run about $200 to $400 a piece.  With my plans to plant about 2000 trees I decided I did not want to spend $600,000 on the trees themselves !   The bareroot stock would cost around $4,000 for the trees themselves.

In back there is about 4 acres of grass to cut back, prep the land by turning the soil over a bit to get it ready for the spring planting of the trees.   The grass is about 4 feet high so I was pretty sure doing it myself was not going to be an option without a tractor so I started to look around for someone to pay to do it for me.

Which is when I met with the chap from the conservation authority.  He has agreed to come in and cut the grass back, prep the land and plant in the spring.   They will pay for the trees and plant 3,000 in.  All for a cost to me of about $500.  So I will get all the work done, trees bought and planted for next to nothing.

So far the I am committed to plant in the back lot 500 Tamarck, 250 Red Maple, 250 Silver Maple, and 800 Eastern White pine.

Back Lot

The tamarck are a larch tree which are throughtout Ontario and much of Canada.  Siberia also has its version of the larch tree.  Its a fast growing conifer that grows about 50 feet tall, green all summer and turns gold in the fall.   Good firewood so looking forward to burning some at some point.


Eastern White pine tree is one of the largest trees in North America often reaching 200 feet easily and will live for 400 years.   It too is fast growing and is green all year with its needles.  Ontario’s official tree.

Eastern White Pine


Along the driveway and to the first tree line is about 700 feet which is open to the lot next door.   I’ve been trying to figure out a way to plant a long row of something to create some privacy.

Front Lot

Part of the front lot along the east side of the driveway I will have the authority plant 1,000 white spruce trees and 200 poplar trees.  White spruce grow to 70 – 80 feet and the poplar can get up to 150 feet fast.   Some of the poplar over time I will thin out and use for firewood as its not much good other stuff.  The poplar will rapidly grow and create some privacy giving the slower going spruce time to take off and create a solid living wall.   After 15 yrs or so the spruce will be 20 feet plus and I can start thinning the poplar.

White Spruce


Written by dcveale13

September 19, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Planting Trees

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September has arrived and fall is knocking on the door.   Permits still tied up in red tape and bit of the back and forth game.  Instead of getting frustrated I’m moving along with the forestry side of things during the late summer and fall.

Since much of my heating will come from wood I spent a lot of time looking trees that would grow locally and produce a lot of btu’s for heat.   Also I wanted trees that would be good coppicing which is the art of cutting down a tree at the 5 or 7 or 20 yr point and allowing shoots to grow up rapidly from the stump, driven by the extensive root system.   This provides a regular harvest of firewood easily attained on a rewewable, sustainable system.   The trick seems to be getting the right trees and the right mix for where one is.

Silver Maple

I’ll start off with a few clumps of silver maple which grows fast and is quite good good at coppicing.  Some I will allow to grow to their full height of 70-100 feet over time so there is a good mix of trees.  The wood is a bit brittle so not too great for making furniture and such.


Silver Maple

An equal number of red maples will get planted.   These too produce good fuel and will coppice easily.   The wood is used for making all sorts of stuff and harder than the silver maple.  These too will grow relatively quickly and get to around 80 feet.

Red Maple

The main fuel tree will be Black Locust tree which is actually a legume.  So it will work to fix nitrogen in the soil by taking it out of the air and save me buying and lugging fertilizer around to do the same thing.  Let the plants do it themselves and save my time for drinking.  Black Locust is a really hard wood that was used for ship building, posts and fencing, railway ties long ago.   A full cord of Black Locust wood is equivalent to a ton on anthracite coal so it is one of the best to burn.

Black Locust

Black Locust

Its also used in the honey industry – particularily in France – where the bees produce one of the best honeys when they have access.   so lots of these and I may branch into honey and fermented that for mead and wines.

Black Locust in Bloom

I’ll also be sticking a lot of poplar trees around the property but away from the house.  They can grow very fast and very big, 150 feet if left alone.   So so for firewood but great to listen to the wind through the leaves.


Along the roadway I will stick in about 4 willows to break the north wind.


A big advantage of planting all the trees is restoring the native habitat and bringing in wildlife that will help keep pests in check so that the annual vegetables and perennial food plants give a lot of food with minium work from me.

Today I was down planting a bunch of rose shrubs along the property line.  Four cedar trees in around the cedar gateway entrance and a blue spruce in.

Rosa Rugosa

Moving along but not as quick as I would want !

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

Written by dcveale13

September 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm