Part 3 in starting for our food forest

The last big poplers to go

Before we start planting our new trees we need to take down these last 2 big poplers. These poplers are standing beside the road and outside of our fence. As we mentioned before we need to be careful how we chop them down. We need to look out for traffic and have to make sure that the main gas pipeline and our building will not be damaged. This mend that we had to take the trees down in parts. Luckily we have a telehandler with a 9 meter reach and a basket to go on the end.

We started off by cutting off the limbs. After reaching the 9 meter height we had to cut the top off and pulled it over with a rob.

Next thing we cleared all the branches out of the way, so that we can move freely with the telehandler. And now comes the exciting part. We secured the main trunk to the basket on the front of the telehandler and then we cut the tree near the ground. We lifted the trunk over our fence and laid it down on the ground.

For the second tree we did the same.

We were surprised about the small amount of branches coming of these 2 trees.

Cleaning up did not take much time.

Our suspicion that these trees were dangerous has been confirmed by the substantial damage done by the willow borer visible in the tree stumps.

Now we are ready to plant our new trees, but this will be for a different blogpost.

Part 2 in starting for our food forest

The first of the 3 poplers to go.

In part 1 in starting our food forest we cleared a part of our property from some smaller poplers. Now it is time to take out a bigger tree standing within our fencing. Luckily this tree was in a position where we could just cut it down. No danger for the underground main gas pipeline and space for falling over and putting the tractor with our winch in position to secure the tree.

We expect the tree to be rotten in its core, so we attached the line of the winch high in the tree and put the line on tension. After that I cut the tree for ¾ and pulled over the tree to snap of the last bit with the winch. This made the falling very controllable.

All that is left to do, some cleaning up.

First we start by removing the branches, which will be chopped. The trunk is cut into manageable peace’s, of which the bigger one will be put on our sawmill. Popler wood is used for bee hives. The smaller trunk parts are going into our dead wood hedge.

The next thing to do is cutting down the last 2 bigger poples beside the road, but this is for a next time.

Part 1 in starting our food forest

Removing poplers to make place for fruit bearing trees

At the roadside of our property we have 3 big poplers which gave us concerns. After talking to our environmental agency we agreed upon taking these poplers down including the numerous smaller ones.

In our very windy, often stormy, location this type of tree is very dangerous, because poplers tend to fall over or snap of by storm. These poplers are only a few meters from the road and also our buildings. There is also the danger if these trees fall over there branches penetrate the ground deeply, which could cause damage to the main underground gas pipeline running through our property. The same danger occurs while cutting down the trees as well, so we have to do some things different. But more about that in a different blog post.

Putting the choker chain around the base of the tree

But first things first. We start by removing all the smaller trees by pulling them out of the ground with our winch. This way we hope to get as much as we can of the roots out of the ground. Due to the gas pipeline we are not allowed to dig the roots up.

Remotely operating the winch

Fortunate we have a 6,5 Ton winch which is remote controlled. The winch makes easy work removing those smaller trees.

Pulling out a tree

Sometimes the roots snap of and we had to pull them out separate.

Root on the chain
Root pulled out of the ground

Here are a few more impressions.

Tree on its way down
The root system is very shallow
Time to clean up

The final result. This small peace of our property has been cleared and mulched to prepare for the new fruit bearing trees.

The final result

The next step: cutting down the big poplers

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