Michael Cox and Kelby, thanks for your words of advice and encouragement!
Kelby: When Paul Wheaton talks about Doug Fir being an invasive species, I think he's pointing to their tendency to become a tree monoculture, essentially smothering out all other species. I have seen this in action on our property, where the Doug Firs have managed to kill or seriously stunt all of the Maple, Silver Birch, and Ponderosa. There is also some debate about whether or not the Douglas Fir actually releases poisonous substances meant to kill other plant species and wipe out the competition. As Ernie Wisner (if I remember correctly) put it, "The Douglas Fir is designed for combat". They are big, beautiful trees, but I don't see any way that our fruit trees will survive competition with this species.
Michael: We will definitely be hugelkulturing any wood scraps that we get out of this deal. We have two large hugelkultur beds built out of mostly Doug Fir logs and trimmings, and those garden beds are freakishly productive. More sunlight will equal more hugel beds on our property. Thanks for the reminder about this. Now I'm a little bit more excited about this ordeal!
These trees are definitely prolific. We have some young Doug Firs on the property that have grown a full 3 feet in 3 years, since we moved in. These trees can reach full mature size in 30 years or less, which is why nothing else seems able to compete with them. They are unbelievable.
See that? I'm talking myself into it, bit by bit.
Tree guy just left and we walked around, marking the trees destined for removal. All in all, I think we chose about 50 trees to take out. He kept telling me, "This property is going to look GREAT once these guys are out of here. Just wait until you see how much sun you'll get!" I needed to hear those things. I'm getting braver about this.