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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Animal Care.

In this Badge Bit you will create a brush pile that is at least five feet tall and five feet wide.



Here is some general information on the topic:
 - Maintaining and Enhancing Wildlife Habitats

Here are some articles on it:
 - Habitat Piles for Wildlife
 - Brush Piles for Wildlife Habitat
 - Brush for Habitat
 - Brush Piles for Backyard Habitat
 - Brush Piles in Ecosystem Gardening
 - Brush Piles for Birds







To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
 - you must make a brush pile at least five feet tall and five feet wide

To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must:
 - post a picture of a location without a brush pile
 - post a picture of the  brush pile under construction
 - post a picture of the completed brush pile at that same spot that is obviously at least five feet tall and five feet wide
COMMENTS:
 
pollinator
Posts: 118
Location: zone 6 (Kansas City)
50
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My brush pile critter hotel, from limbs taken off last week. Used about 1 1/2 trees worth of limbs roughly from the trees we cut and peeled last week.

Two views of the finished pile, mostly gathered from whatever limbs were closest. Also put the bark peelings scattered throughout... maybe they’ll stay a bit drier when it’s raining outside!
brush-pile-critter-hotel.jpeg
brush pile critter hotel
brush pile critter hotel
3178E1AE-DDD8-4724-A768-86F9FB2D793C.jpeg
brush pile critter hotel
brush pile critter hotel
773F228B-9F78-4990-A695-7BBDE42649C7.jpeg
brush pile critter hotel
brush pile critter hotel
Staff note (Mike Barkley):

I certify this BB is complete.

 
master steward
Posts: 7141
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
2031
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
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I made a brush pile today at the 2019 PEP1 event.  I took the branches from a large fir that I cut down earlier in the week and hauled them uphill to Jocelyn and Paul's back yard to a place where they wanted a brushy wall.  Daryl had a pile going to the left of mine so together they will make for lots of habitat.  Final size is a bit over 5' high and wide and about 10-15' long.  I arranged all the branches on the downhill side so the view from the yard is prettier.
20190531_102743_resized.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190531_102743_resized.jpg]
Pile almost done
20190531_103025_resized.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190531_103025_resized.jpg]
All done :)
20190531_094535_resized.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190531_094535_resized.jpg]
Needs a pile
Staff note (paul wheaton):

I certify that this BB is complete!

 
pollinator
Posts: 314
Location: Athens, GA Zone 8a
61
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Dave Burton wrote:
To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must:
 - post a picture of a location without a brush pile
 - post a picture of the  brush pile under construction
 - post a picture of the completed brush pile at that same spot that is obviously at least five feet tall and five feet wide



Oh, goodness! I could have earned this badge five times over. But I'm not moving the giant brush piles to take the before/during/after photos! LOL!

 
Posts: 58
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Yeah, if the pile is built it's obvious you didn't just stumble upon it.  I don't know about 5 feet high either, I have thinned small forests and had a pile 40x40 and it was maybe 6 feet high.  I tend to throw branches the same way, so they create a tight weave.  If it's too open it will collapse to nothing pretty quick.  
 
Posts: 75
Location: Idaho
31
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We just created a lot of these piles in the past month, then chipped them for putting back on the soil and the garden beds. Good thing we still have a few thousand trees yet to thin out of the forest.
 
master steward
Posts: 31020
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Robin Katz wrote:We just created a lot of these piles in the past month, then chipped them for putting back on the soil and the garden beds. Good thing we still have a few thousand trees yet to thin out of the forest.



The function of these brush piles is to not chip or burn them - but to leave them for years to come to facilitate wildlife habitat.  Specifically, the critters that will protect your growies from unwanted critters.
 
Robin Katz
Posts: 75
Location: Idaho
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Paul,

I understand that part, and we will be making some of these for the wildlife now that I see how beneficial they are (although I still needed the chips for soil building). I like the idea of other uses for brush than burning it, which is what everyone does around here. Waste of good biomass.
 
jared strand
Posts: 58
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Hmm, my brush piles have always attracted the animals that eat my garden- namely, rabbits and woodchucks. I still make brush piles though...just don't think to document the process..
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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When sepp holzer has a problem with a critter, he puts out lots of goodies to attract the problem critter.  It turns out that that also attracts the predators of that critter.

 
Posts: 415
Location: Georgia
16
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The rabbit lives here. He exits in a hurry when I throw brush on. My other brush pile is filling a hole it is twice this size but is only slightly above ground level.
The house wrens seem to like it.
brush-pile-for-rabbit.jpeg
brush pile for rabbit
brush pile for rabbit
 
master steward
Posts: 12577
Location: Pacific Northwest
5586
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My salmonberry is always trying to take over my yard and fruit trees. So, today I pruned a bunch out and piled them up!

The lovely picture of my pile was taken by my 2 year old daughter, after multiple pictures of her hand and the grass.... :D

(Edit: Looks like I need a progress picture. I'll just cut some more salmonberries tomorrow and add them to the pile and take another picture!)

20190626_121246-1-.jpg
A whole bunch of salmonberry pruned out of the hedge
A whole bunch of salmonberry pruned out of the hedge
20190626_204919-1-.jpg
I'm 5'4 inches, and here is my pile, taller than me, and wider than my armspan!
I'm 5'4 inches, and here is my pile, taller than me, and wider than my armspan!
 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 12577
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Added another wheel barrow of salmonberries and got another picture, as well a "after" picture from the same angle as my "before."
IMG_20190627_112831-1-.jpg
Wa-la! A Pile!
Wa-la! A Pile!
IMG_20190627_112929-1-.jpg
Now with pile between my fruit trees.
Now with pile between my fruit trees.
Staff note (Mike Haasl):

I certify this BB complete!

 
steward
Posts: 5151
Location: United States
2044
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This is the area where I am building my brush pile. It is located west and upslope of my hugelkultur bed on Plum Plateau at Basecamp.



This is my brush pile after I spent the remaining sunlight working on it after Bootcamp.



This is another in progress photo of my brush pile.



This is my brush pile completed that is obviously more than five feet tall and five feet wide, with measuring tapes.



The mostly vertical measuring tape reads a little more than 8 feet, and the measuring tape on the ground reads a bit more than 9 feet.



This is a picture showing my brush pile, in relationship to my hugelkultur on Pulm Plateau. This is to demonstrate that my brush pile is located near a garden.

Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I hereby certify that this badge bit is complete!

 
Posts: 12
Location: PNW
4
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Here is my BB evidence:
Hauling brush, Area without brush pile, Final brush pile(fence post on left is 5ft tall for reference), Brush pile close up.
73323FD6-4985-4F9E-91F7-F904FDD949B2.jpeg
Hauling brush
Hauling brush
CA02E6A4-DFB9-4222-892B-4E6146E06638.jpeg
No brush pile
No brush pile
25095D7A-B19B-4F7D-8FF9-69DFAE45AADD.jpeg
Brush pile far away
Brush pile far away
CD0A7E44-B5E7-495E-958C-8D5FC0DD7D7F.jpeg
Brush pile up close
Brush pile up close
Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I hereby certify that this badge bit is complete!

 
jared strand
Posts: 58
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Here's my brush pile.  It was started well before this thread, and I'm not about to move it or start another one just to prove something.
I just threw 3-4 shrubs worth of dead birch and sucker cherry trees on it.  A year and a half, and I can still see over the pile, so it is MAYBE 5 feet high.  But it's about 25 feet wide by 10 deep.  I guess I don't qualify for any badge.  But that's OK, I got nothing to prove.  I have animal shelter.
brush-pile-for-wildlife.jpg
brush pile for wildlife
brush pile for wildlife
 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 12577
Location: Pacific Northwest
5586
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I actually have a pile like that, too. We've been adding to it since we moved in 7 years ago, so I have no before pictures. To get the badge bit, I just made another pile nearby it, and took the pictures, and then added it to the other one. Sure, it was a bit more work, but I wanted the shiny badge, so I just did it.
 
gardener
Posts: 518
Location: Denver, 6a / BSk, rental house dweller, going back to Wheaton Labs soon
363
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Hello there!



At the 2019 PEP Jamboree, I cut down a tree. Then I limbed it. Then I used the limbs to make a brush pile. Turns out, it's right next to Mike's! Maybe our brush piles will be buddies, eh?
Screenshot_20200403-220024.png
No brush pile... Yet
No brush pile... Yet
Screenshot_20200403-220048.png
404 error: Under construction
404 error: Under construction
Screenshot_20200403-220233.png
Finito!
Finito! I'm 6' tall
Screenshot_20200403-220244.png
Finite!
Finite! My arms are 6'-4"
Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I hereby certify that this badge bit is complete!

 
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry. I wrung this tiny ad and it was still dry.
Solar Station Construction Plans - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/t/138039/Solar-Station-Construction-Plans-FREE
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