• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

How to go about replacing dead trees in the wind break

 
pollinator
Posts: 2403
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
361
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So our wind break tree line goes like this: Caragana, pine, pine, spruce and Lilac. Some of the pine trees are dying. Probably pine beetle. We are debating how to replace them. Obviously need to cut the dead ones down but can we leave the stumps and just plant next to them? That's what i want to do but hubs says stumps have to be removed. Would be replacing with saplings.

Thanks!
 
pollinator
Posts: 2085
Location: 4b
498
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have done what you suggested many times with no ill effects.  I would just plant next to the stumps.  Another option is to burn them out.  The way I do that is to dig out next to the stump in a few places, drill holes at an angle from above the surface into the stump below the surface and put a 55 gal drum with holes around the bottom edge over the stump.  Throw in dry wood, light it, and wait.  Once you have it burnt down to below the surface, you can fill the hole with compost and plant next to where the stump was.
 
gardener
Posts: 6673
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1323
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hau Elle, If the pines are dying, you are most likely correct in thinking pine beetle.
If you are planning on going with lilac as replacements then you do need to remove the stumps (grinding will do the trick).
As far as best choices for replacements, it is going to depend on how much wind you need to break, (I use Red Cedars because the branches are nice and thick so they break a lot of the wind coming up hill).
You also need to find specimens to plant that have a good tap root, this one feature will help trees to survive in high winds, especially if the ground is saturated.

In my area, osage orange is one of the preferred along with the red cedar (juniper) followed by hickory and oak. (in the right spot mulberry would work fine and it would feed some of the animals).

Redhawk
 
steward
Posts: 4122
Location: West Tennessee
1620
cattle cat purity fungi trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If the stumps are removed, what could be done with them so they're a resource? An option to consider is the stump grinder, and turn those stumps into wood chips and leave in place to decay at a much more rapid rate than a stump as a whole, and plant next to the former stump and even rake some of those wood chips over the new planting area. And to really speed things along, pouring mushroom slurry over those woods chips will get all sorts of rapid decay and good things happening.
 
pollinator
Posts: 320
Location: Quebec, Canada
45
hugelkultur forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would plant saplings beside the tree stump.  In the nature we see that all the time where new trees grow right beside the tree stump.   The tree stump will provide nutrients as it decays over the years.

If you already have some young saplings or trees already growing close by the stump, they may very well take the space by branching out without even needing to replant.  Depends what you have around it.

But it does make sense to ''manage'' windbreaks over time so that there is a natural succession and you might be able to use periodically cut out trees for firewood and other uses.

One challenge -  if the sapling is very shaded by other trees in the windbreak, they might not grow much or very fast.  Depends on the saplings  So consider if you should plant sun loving, (southside) or shade loving saplings (shaded section) to replace the dead trees.





 
elle sagenev
pollinator
Posts: 2403
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
361
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Elle, If the pines are dying, you are most likely correct in thinking pine beetle.
If you are planning on going with lilac as replacements then you do need to remove the stumps (grinding will do the trick).
As far as best choices for replacements, it is going to depend on how much wind you need to break, (I use Red Cedars because the branches are nice and thick so they break a lot of the wind coming up hill).
You also need to find specimens to plant that have a good tap root, this one feature will help trees to survive in high winds, especially if the ground is saturated.

In my area, osage orange is one of the preferred along with the red cedar (juniper) followed by hickory and oak. (in the right spot mulberry would work fine and it would feed some of the animals).
Redhawk



The spruce trees are the long term plan. Everything else is just a nursery crop, imo. The spruce are doing well but are still 1/3 the size of most of our pines.

I've planted a lot of trees. Osage orange did grow here to some effect. I think I'll stick with pine as the replacement for the pines though. I need evergreens to help with winter wind and snow collection.



This is about the only pic I could find of the treeline that isn't covered in snow. You can kind of see the spruce trees in front of the pine and the lilac in front of the spruce.
Spruce-trees.jpg
Spruce trees
Spruce trees
 
gardener
Posts: 1749
Location: Los Angeles, CA
482
hugelkultur forest garden books urban chicken food preservation
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The expense of renting a stump grinder is, in my opinion, unnecessary.  Burning them also seems like an additional step that does not add much value other than the appearance.  Again, just my opinion.

Planting a new tree near the old stump does not negatively impact the growth of the new tree.  I wouldn't plant immediately next to the stump, but if you plant at least a foot away, there should be no adverse effect.  I recently planted a peach almost directly next to a massive old apricot stump (almost 2 feet across) and that new peach has done well.  I've seen the same thing with ornamental trees like Brush Cherry and African Sumac, but those trees are really tough.  For shelter-belt trees, I can't imagine that the old rotting stump would cause any concern for the new tree, even if the tree roots remain alive for years.

My favorite "foresting" tool has become a cordless reciprocating saw (Sawzall) with a 12 inch blade.  Its lighter and easier to use than my chain saw, and it cleans things up so easily (trimming branches and cutting old stumps down to the soil level).  If that were my shelter belt, I'd take the Sawzall and cut the stumps down as low as you can to the ground, so that if you wanted to run a mower through there, you could mow right over the top of the old stumps.

To encourage decomposition, take an old fashioned brace (hand drill) and auger a couple of big holes down into the stump, or use a cordless drill with a good sized bit.  I can drill 3 holes in a stump with a cordless drill in less than a minute -- done.  A sharp bit makes all the difference.  After the next rainstorm, walk around and pick as many mushrooms as you can find.  Get a big bucket and smush those mushrooms into a bucket of sawdust (perhaps throw in a couple of cups of oatmeal as well to feed the growing fungi).  Wet the sawdust/growing medium with non-chlorinated water (rainwater, if you can).  Leave in a warm dark place for a couple of months.  You should see fungi quickly colonizing your sawdust growing medium.

OR . . . if you've got an old hugelculture mound, dig out a piece of old wood that's been decomposing with fungi.  Bury that rotting piece of wood down into your bucket with sawdust/oatmeal growing medium.  That will assure you that you've got a fungal strain that is good for breaking down wood.

Take that fungal rich sawdust and pack the holes in the stumps, ramming the sawdust down into the holes with a dowel.  If you wish, mulch over the top of the old stump with wood chips or semi-finished chunky compost . . . keeping the stump from drying it out in the hot sunlight.  Sometimes after inoculating a stump with fungi, I'll build a slow-rot/cold compost pile over the top of it (stuff like tomato and pumpkin vines that take a long time to break down).  Having a compost pile on the SOUTH side of the new tree feeds the soil for years while shading the roots from the hot sun, so if you can, plant your new tree to the north of your old stump.  Did that make sense?  The hottest sunlight will be on the south side of your new tree --- that's the side that will benefit most from having a compost pile slowly rotting and keeping the roots shaded and moist.

Walk away and let nature do its thing.  The fungi will take care of those stumps within 5 years -- sooner if it's a soft wood.  Not only will the fungi decompose the old stump wood, but it will also feed those nutrients to your new tree.
 
pollinator
Posts: 748
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand
200
duck trees chicken cooking wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was going to post something about the benefits of leaving the stumps but I see that I don't need to.

What Marco said.
 
elle sagenev
pollinator
Posts: 2403
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
361
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Marco Banks wrote:
To encourage decomposition, take an old fashioned brace (hand drill) and auger a couple of big holes down into the stump, or use a cordless drill with a good sized bit.  I can drill 3 holes in a stump with a cordless drill in less than a minute -- done.  A sharp bit makes all the difference.  After the next rainstorm, walk around and pick as many mushrooms as you can find.  Get a big bucket and smush those mushrooms into a bucket of sawdust (perhaps throw in a couple of cups of oatmeal as well to feed the growing fungi).  Wet the sawdust/growing medium with non-chlorinated water (rainwater, if you can).  Leave in a warm dark place for a couple of months.  You should see fungi quickly colonizing your sawdust growing medium.

OR . . . if you've got an old hugelculture mound, dig out a piece of old wood that's been decomposing with fungi.  Bury that rotting piece of wood down into your bucket with sawdust/oatmeal growing medium.  That will assure you that you've got a fungal strain that is good for breaking down wood.

Take that fungal rich sawdust and pack the holes in the stumps, ramming the sawdust down into the holes with a dowel.  If you wish, mulch over the top of the old stump with wood chips or semi-finished chunky compost . . . keeping the stump from drying it out in the hot sunlight.  Sometimes after inoculating a stump with fungi, I'll build a slow-rot/cold compost pile over the top of it (stuff like tomato and pumpkin vines that take a long time to break down).  Having a compost pile on the SOUTH side of the new tree feeds the soil for years while shading the roots from the hot sun, so if you can, plant your new tree to the north of your old stump.  Did that make sense?  The hottest sunlight will be on the south side of your new tree --- that's the side that will benefit most from having a compost pile slowly rotting and keeping the roots shaded and moist.

Walk away and let nature do its thing.  The fungi will take care of those stumps within 5 years -- sooner if it's a soft wood.  Not only will the fungi decompose the old stump wood, but it will also feed those nutrients to your new tree.



I like the idea of helping the stumps decompose but I highly doubt they will in my lifetime. It's so arid here things just don't decay like that.

We have several chainsaws, one small one for branch cutting. I think we can cut it really close to ground level and plant a few feet from the old stump. Hopefully that doesn't impact the new tree.

We do have an excavator so we could dig up the stump, I just really don't want to. I'd prefer to leave it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 123
21
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We cut out a line of spruce maybe 10 years ago and every year the stumps become covered in mushrooms and fungus. I would.imagine the slowly rotting roots and stump is good for the soil
Tree-stump-mushrooms.png
Tree stump mushrooms
Tree stump mushrooms
Golden-brown-mushrooms.png
Golden brown mushrooms
Golden brown mushrooms
 
Michelle Bisson
pollinator
Posts: 320
Location: Quebec, Canada
45
hugelkultur forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

We have several chainsaws, one small one for branch cutting. I think we can cut it really close to ground level and plant a few feet from the old stump. Hopefully that doesn't impact the new tree.

We do have an excavator so we could dig up the stump, I just really don't want to. I'd prefer to leave it.



Sounds like a good plan!  I would not worry about the new tree.  The new roots will find their way around the old stump.  Digging up the old stump looks like a lot of work without the benefits of the old root system slowly decaying in the ground that will provide nutrients and hold in moisture over the long term.

If you look in a natural forest you it is very common that the new sapling are growing on or beside old decaying trunks & stumps.  It will take a while for you stump to decay, but there is no rush.  The new tree will benefit in the future when that happens.
 
Their achilles heel is the noogie! Give them noogies tiny ad!
2021 RMH Jamboree planning thread!
https://permies.com/wiki/148835/permaculture-projects/RMH-Jamboree-planning-thread
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic