Tuapte Semper Ingredere Via

Community, People, Localization – a return to a human scale

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.

Poplar

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

Willow

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.”

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Written by dcveale13

September 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm

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