Clearing the Land
Last Updated: October 09, 2005
Most recent images first; text at bottom...

Milled lumber set up to dry. We're hoping to use this mix of Madrone and Oak in the house doors and perhaps some furniture.


Milling lumber from a large and beautiful (but diseased) Madrone



Ooops, dead chipper! I guess the rented wood chipper couldn't take 2 days straight as it 'collapsed' after finishing chipping the remainders at the homesite!


Clearing the well site. Note that transplantable young trees were first taken and moved to other places on the property where they were needed. Following that, longer branches were cut for garden fence posts, firewood was taken of thicker trunks, then the chipping of the remainders for mulch (the same was done on the main road and the homesite). The picnic basket and flowers were brought by a neighbor(!)


Clearing the homesite. We took out the scrub and dead trees, cutting useable wood for firewood and chipping the rest for compost in the gardens. This photo was taken just after the arborist finished pruning the stately oaks we left.


Property and project map.


Clearing the Land

The lay of the land, the way the weather interacts with it and the types of plants and animals that inhabit it must be carefully studied before any clearing is contemplated. We spent time getting to know the property, walking it as well as sketching our intentions before we decided where (and how) to clear. Our goal is to not disrupt the animals presently making their home there and to fit our own construction into the lay of the land in as complimentary a manner as possible.

In our clearing, no large trees (>4" diameter) were taken unless they were already diseased and dying. And for every tree removed, we planted at least one replacement. When we replanted, we did so with common oats mixed with clover. The idea was to get in place a robust fast growing planting that would not readily re-seed (the oats feed the quail and deer) but provide root structure for erosion control and a seed catchment for native grasses. The following season, most of the oats are replaced with native grasses and wildflowers naturally...