Jay Angler wrote:Have you considered researching the benefits of deciduous trees in a mixed forest with respect to wild-fire safety? One of the reasons (apart from a shortage of beavers) that some of the BC interior fires have been so bad in the last couple of decades was the shift in forests to only evergreen.
Jay Angler wrote:As to housing, permies has done lots of research regarding "wofati" building.
In my area - further north than you - we have something locally called "Cottonwood", although I think that common name refers to more than one species across North America, and my neighbor would agree with your approach. They're a short-lived tree that prepares the land for more longer-lived successors, and they rot so easily that my neighbor's learned that they should be felled as soon as showing signs of rot just for safety's sake. This is very different from the cedar trees which can stand dead easily for decades and not be near the threat. But as you also noted, once dried, they make fine firewood.
Currently the trees in question are 40-50 ft high, some look to be over 100ft (just guessing). They are all in various stages of rotting from the inside out, so are quite dangerous.
There are lots of resources that will say that spending time on the land before making big decisions like building type and location is a good thing, so long as you stay sufficiently warm this winter. Hopefully you'll get a feel for where the big storms hit, where the water flows, which areas flood and how to keep you and your food dry. Many people look at the temperatures in the Pacific North West and think that hypothermia isn't a risk, but if one gets wet, can't get dry, and there's a breeze as well, the risk is quite real. The nice thing about building small is that it won't take a lot of wood to get it warm. Have you looked at the Rocket Mass heater forum? There are some that are designed as a bed platform, which would be good for keeping bedding dry. I'm living in a stick built house with lousy thermal mass and I notice a big difference when I visit my sister whose much older home was built with concrete block walls, but no insulation. In many ways, her house is the more comfortable house to relax in, as the temperature is more steady.
Unfortunately, I will most likely not be ready to build until spring (there's a lot of excavation to do and it's all by hand), which means the new shelter will be finished by the beginning of summer, so any winter testing will have to wait for next year.
Chris Kott wrote: I would be cautious about getting rid of the cottonwood....or tethered half-log planters that will float....I would also consider whether there are any local types of willow that would be advantageous to you....I know of species of cypress and cedar that will grow at the water's edge, leaning out over it for years as they grow....
Artie Scott wrote:Welcome aboard, Isaac! Beautiful spot, and love your idea of a floating garden. No sun? Anchors aweigh! Better still, no need for fencing out the critters. Although, might be interesting to find out if anything would swim out to it - raccoon? Bear?