Ruth J Jamieson Art

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Deforestation Part 2

The Trees

Now that we had decided where the house would sit we could begin selecting trees to remove. We wanted to keep the place as natural as possible but with the house, driveway and septic system, some trees had to go.
We were to find out later we should have taken one more tree down, but that will be another post.

lot with trees down
Some of the smaller trees down

Time Ain’t On My Side

I started out thinking I could just putter away until the lot was clear. I had a hatchet, axe and saw which seemed to work in Rush’s song “The Trees”, but in real life with me providing the elbow grease, it was going to take forever.
I could make some headway chopping and sawing the softwoods but against the larger hardwoods the bucksaw was very slow when it didn’t bind and my axe was causing me a lot of pain.
There are different types of axe for different jobs. The axe I had was one piece of steel with a rubber coating on the steel handle. It was great for brush and small trees but it either bounced off the larger hardwoods or stuck in the trunk of the tree leaving my arms feel as though I had just hit a brick wall.

We decided to rent a chainsaw.

If you ever have to cut trees of any size larger than a couple of inches in diameter, you will want to get a chainsaw or hire someone to cut down the trees. If the wood on your property has enough value some companies will do the work in exchange for the logs. If you do decide to do your own cutting you should get some instruction in the use of all the cutting implements and use all personal safety equipment.
I was employed one winter to clear ski trails and was shown how to use chainsaws and I even had my own cutter’s pants. The pants had fiberglass layers in the legs, which in the event of your saw mistaking your leg for a tree, would tangle in the teeth of the chain, stalling the engine.

The rental chainsaw sped things up a lot but with the number of trees that had to be felled, limbed and cut, Ruth realized it would be cheaper to buy our own, so on my birthday I got a brand new 18” Poulan chainsaw.

Meeting the Neighbors or Disaster Struck

Even though I had experience felling trees, it is dangerous unpredictable work.
Trees can go in the wrong direction in spite of the proper notching and cutting techniques.

I was cutting the last tree of the day. The tree was straight, the air was calm, and I notched the trunk so the tree would fall toward the lake.
A sudden breeze came off the lake and the tree fell back toward the road landing on the power lines.
The tree started to smoke. I thought “the fire will burn right through the trunk and the tree will fall on the road where I can cut and remove it”.
Unfortunately the power line melted and the tree fell on the next power line which also melted.
The power lines ran across the ground trapping our van and stranding us there.

Someone called the power company and we got to talk to our neighbors while watching the lines being repaired. Apparently this had happened to other “lumberjacks” on our road.

Next time … Construction Begins

Whether or not time is on your side you can keep track of it with…

 

Gnarly tree
Gnarly tree by ladybuglane
Browse additional Clocks

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Deforestation – Clearing the Land

Choosing the Lot

We had visited the area with one of the Band representatives and chose our lot. All the lots were 100 feet along the road and over 100 feet down to the lake. Of the 50 original lots there were only a few remaining.
It was difficult to see all the features of the property due to the trees and bush but we choose the lot that we liked the best in part because it appeared to be higher than all of the surrounding lots.
This turned out to be a good move as in the years to come some neighbors experienced flooding and loss of their beaches due to erosion from storms.

lot with brush cut
The lot with some brush cut

Siting the House

The lots had been surveyed and our first job was to decide where to put our home. Some people had built near the centre of their lot while others built to one side or the other. We chose to build to the side leaving ample room for expansion.

The conditions of the lease allowed for a setback of four feet from the property lines on either side, and you had to build more or less in line with your neighbors houses. The setback from the road was required for the installation of a septic bed that would be about 50 feet by 50 feet plus the septic tank. This however would be some time in coming.

First the Clearing

On evenings and weekends we would load the kids into the van and head out to the site of our home to be. The kids would play in an area away from the brush clearing and they had a ball in their woodland playground.

The work wasn’t too difficult as we were removing mostly brush and small trees with an axe and buck saw. The wood we cut was piled and fed to a small fire over which we cooked hotdogs, marshmallows and s’mores. It was just like camping and with all the exercise and fresh air everyone slept well.

Throughout the fall, friends from college would come out to help on weekends. We cleared a lot of the small brush and enjoyed a few bonfires.

With the site cleaned up, we had to decide which of the trees we needed to remove. We wanted to keep as many as possible but had to remove the ones growing where the driveway and septic system were to go.

Next – Deforestation Part 2

If you don’t find the notion of writing things down on paper that weird, you can buy a notebook with one of our winter visitors…

Bluejay Spiral Note Book
Bluejay Spiral Note Book by ladybuglane
Design your own customisable notebooks online at Zazzle

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