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Chainsaw--- landscaping the lazy way  RSS feed

 
gardener
Posts: 7494
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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  In the lush environment of southern Vancouver Island there is no need to plant many of the native species. Shortly after land is cleared, all manner of young trees and herbaceous plants sprout up at once and compete for space and sunlight. Natural succession gives fairly predictable results over the long term with broom and fire weed giving way to alder and other broadleaf trees and finally 30 to 50 years down the road the evergreens are dominant.

  When landscaping in this environment I have seldom planted anything. I simply walk around with my chainsaw and identify those trees which are most desirable and then I cut down their competition. All the crap from trimming undesirables is used to mulch desirable specimens. In this way I've favored some of the more rare trees on my land such as Dogwood, red alder, Arbutus and several bushes which I don't know the name of. By using only native tree species to landscape around the house I'm not creating a situation where I'll have to worry about drought or other environmental calamity since these trees are perfectly adapted for my region.

    A few days ago I cut out a large area of 11-year-old alder, maple and cottonwood to make room for a fifth wheel trailer. In the understory we found several nice evergreens, butterfly bush, Arbutus and other nice bushes. I worked carefully around them and created a 15' x 60 foot lawn area with instant landscaping that blends seamlessly with the young hardwood forest. The guy who will live in the trailer didn't want the dampness and mildew that come with being immediately adjacent to the alder and maples. It took under an hour to do this and all the cutting revealed probably 50 desirable trees and bushes. I'll thin them out over time as they grow.

    Selectively removing what isn't wanted is far more effective labor wise than planting landscaping trees. Unfortunately nature doesn't provide me with Apples, plums or other fruit and nut trees so I'll be forced to do some heavy digging soon.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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our forested area is unfortunately losing a lot of the nicely growing trees as we have elm disease and emerald ash borers here, and a lot of the nice trees are going to die.

I will be using a chainsaw and removing all the ash and elm for firewood, as they are going to die anyway, and selectively keeping the oak and maple and also the aspen and evergreens that are on the property, maybe a couple wild cherries (but the tent worms love them)..

I made some trails through my woods a couple of years ago and there are two trees that fell down over the trails that need to be removed and one of the trails needs some building up and repair..also..so yup I understand using a chainsaw for landscaping
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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All of these dead trees could represent an opportunity. Much of the wood could be stacked up and used for hugelkultur. The filtered light might be just what some plants are after.

By increasing the biodiversity of your groundcover you may prevent future outbreaks of pest species.
 
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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One other thing that might not have occurred to someone. When you drop a tree, you have a log, perhaps a not very large one, put it sideways to the flow of water, stake it in place with some limbs, and you have a mini-swale. This helps incredibly in the forest because it will help drive water into the ground, instead of running across the surface.

In a mature forest, you have logs all over the place, and where trees have pulled out of the ground, making natural swales, etc. If you use a chainsaw, you can replicate the same idea. When we harvest wood, we do this with the leftovers, and a machete is wonderful for working with this.

I also will use limbs to surround baby seedlings that I don't want an animal to much on, like sheep. Sometimes I will run vines around and make like a basket, and the basket will last, in our area, as long for the seedling to grow large enough to be out of the reach of sheep. Yeah, they grow that fast down here.

 
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