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By 5 Acres and A Dream
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Of Fallen Trees and What We Do With Them

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In my last blog post, I mentioned that a tree had fallen on our fence.

Uprooted pine tree.

It’s a pine tree that was growing on the other side of the pasture fence. When it uprooted and fell, it got caught in the branches of an oak tree, so it didn’t hit the ground. Being precarious and therefore dangerous, it had to come down. 

This is actually a fairly common occurrence here. It’s always pine trees because pines are pioneer trees; they grow quickly in untended open areas, then gradually give way to young hardwoods. This is called succession. They grow tall and spindly competing for the sun. Their fast growth makes them weaker and subject to uprooting when the ground is too saturated or breaking mid-trunk when the winds are high. Fortunately, no buildings or critters have ever been hit (including us!) although we’ve lost a lot of fences from this happening. These trees were the motivating factor in buying Dan’s portable sawmill and have provided most of the lumber we’ve used for building projects.

Dan first checked to make sure it was safe, and then let the billy boys into the pasture to eat the oak leaves.

Piedy and Magnus on their way to check it out.
Jonah got there first. The little building you see in the
background is our original buck barn, Fort William.

Most people typically graze goats on pasture, but their preferred food is browse, i.e., leaves and tender twigs from trees and shrubs. They happily did the job of stripping leaves.
When they were done, Dan cut the tree down, trimmed off the branches, and dragged the log to the sawmill.

Bonus points if you can spot the two cats.
The project we have in mind is the second pergola to shade the front bedroom windows on the setting sun side of the house. 
These windows get the hot afternoon summer sun.

Having a project in mind meant Dan could cut the log to the specs he wanted.
This project isn’t imminent, but the cutting needs to be done to give the lumber time to cure. It will be ready when we get to it.

Rough cut & curing. Sticks (stickers) between
the pieces allow air to flow so it will dry evenly.

The branches were run through our chipper for the wood chip pile.

The pine wood chips

When we’re done, all of the tree has been utilized. 
Did you spot the two cats in the above photo? In case you didn’t, here they are.



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