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I did some road building yesterday. Removed years worth of growth from the Old Railway line.  RSS feed

 
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I did some road building yesterday. My property used to belong to a railway. It was logged 19 years ago. I bought it 14 years ago. Some parts of the Old Railway grade were difficult to identify at that time , since every inch of the place was covered in slash.

I spent about 2 hours cutting small trees , then my tenant came in with his excavator and in about 2 hours, there was a road again. The banks on the side where originally thrown up by Chinese laborers who dug this line by hand.

I got a dozen useful logs. They're not big but suitable for purlins on a new garden structure. The log pictured is about 9 inches in diameter. It was a 1 inch stick when I bought the place.

A duff layer covered the road an average of 6 inches deep. This, and all of the stumps and  material drawn from the ditches, were used in a giant hugelkultur mound a short distance away.

We lengthened the road by 175 feet.
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This is the before picture. The rest of the road was improved several years ago.
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Salvaged some useful smaller logs.
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We drag them out with a choker around several of them at once.
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They
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My property line is just beyond the wall of bracken fern.
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Looking toward Randy
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The duff layer is poured on top larger logs and stumps.
 
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Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Very impressive!   Not an easy task, but it sure looks good now! 
 
Dale Hodgins
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Compared to the physical work done when the railway was built and the work that others do when building hugelkultur beds  by hand, I think it was pretty easy by comparison. Imagine cutting all of those trees down with a hand saw.

The real work will be in getting these beds to produce.

I plan to plant fruit trees along the road.
 
pollinator
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Location: Pac Northwest
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chicken forest garden homestead solar trees wofati
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Looking good, I bet you were quite happy to have the excavator come out and make things move a lot faster.

I am doing some hand work to open up an old grown over logging road on my property, and really looking forward to getting some heavy equipment to speed up the process and get it really done. But some hand work is required to get it thinned down and figure out where the road will go through exactly. As well as I needed to be able to get through to set up my camp on the land.
 
Dale Hodgins
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If you plan to strip the bark off any of the trees, do it immediately after they are cut. One day in the sun can make the bark difficult or impossible to remove. Felled trees that are debarked in the bush, dry out more slowly than a pile in the sun. Less cracking and the total weight that has to be packed out may be as little as half.
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This short and quite sharp shovel is the best debarking tool I've tried. The bark is slick as snot this time of year. I wasted no time getting on it.
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Devin Lavign
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ON debarking, if you fell the trees in spring when the sap starts flowing you can peel bark in entire sheets. However this is a temporary window of sap flow. It varies greatly region to region as well as species to species. Once summer or fall hits though you will likely need to use a draw knife to peel bark and it will take a lot longer. It can often be beneficial to just wait for next spring.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Here I describe the excavator drop method of debarking. Logs that are dropped on top of one another, shed bark.

http://www.permies.com/t/57342/timber/Excavator-bark-stripping
 
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My family had a coal and timber railroad right of way when they bought it in the 50s.
Outside Seattle
Half mile went though the property
Same work your doing.
We removed all the ties (sleepers)  and all the trees gowing, including the verge.
The grade makes a good road when your done.
The ballast isn't too deep nor of high quality.
So vegetation left to grow will break it down  fairly fast.
 
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