Sunday, February 19, 2012

Trimmin' Trees

This post is not about traveling or tourism or anything other than living in the Texas Hill Country - so if you're not interested you can move on and check back later for other news.

We learned soon after moving here that when President G.W. Bush said he was "taking a vacation" at his ranch in TX to "cut brush" he was telling the truth. Every afternoon when we retire to the porch for he afternoon cold one and admire the landscape we discuss what should be cut down. The stuff can grow a foot overnight, I swear!

The difficulty in accomplishing our discussed intentions regarding the pruning is the fact that most of the material to be "cut down" lies several feet above the ground ( 20, 30, or more) and being 60+ each in accumulated years we are sensible enough to know we don't belong that far above Terra firma. SO, we finally hired a crew to come in and do the needed thinning and pruning.

I guess you could say we were "inspired" by the horrible fires last summer. We had a lot of brush and several Texas cedars (which are really juniper) that needed to be gone, due to their proximity to buildings. The crew knew exactly what they were doing and not only removed the most dangerous of the trees, but did a marvelous job of cleaning up the live oak and the mesquite that we chose to keep. In the photo to the left the red arrow points down and to the right to one of the crew, in a yellow vest. He started there and worked his way UP the tree.

We are generally DYIers, but there's no way we could have done the the job they did, much less in one day!!

There were multiple fires going during the day, as burning was decided upon as the best way to dispose of the trimmings. Steve just had to participate in all the fun of course, so he fired up the tractor and helped move trimmings to the burn piles so the crew could dispose of everything by quitting time. I think they appreciated the help as they had hauled some pretty heavy stumps by hand earlier in the day.

Another huge fire burned at the back of the shop, near the RV port. In spite of assurances that there would be no problem, we finally decided to pull the RV out to avoid any heat damage to the side. 

 We had the last of the embers glowing well past dark, but everything was well contained so no worries.

The finished landscape is much more open, and much less of a fire hazard! We still have more fine tuning to do, but the upper story is good for now, and we have enough open space to allow new plantings to take hold and get some much needed sunlight.

We're aiming for privacy screening, food for wildlife, and evergreen if possible. Not much to ask is it? Any recommendations? Send 'em our way!