Ok, looking back I should’ve titled these posts the Tree Trilogies, but who knew I could talk about trees for so long????….. Well, I guess I kinda did……because that seemed to be ALL we talked about for months!! Marking trees, saving trees, hardwood trees, pine trees, broken trees, clearing trees, yada, yada, yada… You get the picture! We went from dozer talk everywhere to tree talk everywhere. (Don’t tell Jim, but I might have preferred the dozer talk! SHHH!)
So! Once we had a system of Jim knocking over the trees and me NOT complaining, we actually got ALOT done! We finished clearing the pastures by the driveway and the small creek and then we decided to move to the other end of the property to make some pastures that would eventually become hay fields. There were only a handful of hardwoods over there and they were tiny because they were being choked by masses of Virginia pines. (Back to the science lessons!)
Virginia pines are a lesson in themselves people! They are a lesson in patience and also a great source of anxiety for me. Okay, let me try to explain that so I don’t sound completely crazy! I’m sure you have never thought that about me now have you?!?!?!?!?!?
These are the Virginia Pines. They look just lovely don’t they?
Sweet little Virginia Pines. Awww.
Cute little Virginia Pines..
When this property was logged 20 years or so earlier, they had not replanted any trees. The trees had eventually started growing wild on their own and the Virginia pines had won the battle on this end of the property. They were growing so close together that you literally could NOT walk between them. There were probably 15 acres of 10-20 foot tall Virginia pines. Some were even big enough to be pulpwood. (I knew those science and logging lessons would come in handy!) Since we needed them gone anyway, why not cut them for pulpwood? Why not? Seemed logical? Oh….My…Goodness. There is nothing logical about Virginia Pines. NOTHING!!!!
As it turns out, Virginia pines are basically worthless to loggers, lumber yards, homeowners looking for firewood, etc. They are basically worthless to everyone we asked. And we asked ALOT of people what to do with that many Virginia pines of that size. We had lumber yards come look at them. No go. Lumber yards weren’t that interested in them. Individual loggers wouldn’t even come look at them, but told us over the phone that cutting them down cost them more in fuel than what they made selling them to the lumber yard. Not interested AT ALL they said. We called a company that cuts pulpwood and turns it into firewood pellets. Nope. We had to pay them to cut Virginia pines. We had to pay them ALOT to cut the Virginia pines. We asked people that cut and sell firewood. Nope. Pine burns too fast so they couldn’t sell it and they weren’t interested. We asked a few woodworking companies and individuals. Nope. The wood is softer than normal pine and not very valuable to them. It seemed like everyone hated Virginia pines!! Which, of course, made me like them and want to save them somehow. Yes, I do know I’m weird…. and a little crazy….OK, maybe more than a little…. I just have a softspot for underdogs I suppose.
Now, if you know someone or something that could have been done with those pines-PLEASE do NOT tell me at this point! I have lost so much time and sleep over these silly trees. I’m convinced they will haunt me forever!!!
I tried so many ways to save those trees. Nothing worked. No one was interested. Yet, I kept stalling on letting Jim just push them over. I repeatedly asked him not to knock over that many trees. But, I didn’t have any ideas on what else to do with them. Virginia pines are apparently just unloveable to most people. So sad….
Jim finally made the executive decision to start bulldozing them. That’s kinda why he had bought the dozer in the first place…. Why didn’t I realize that before? Yeah, I have no answer that makes any kind of sense. Anyway, Jim had made the decision that the pines were going (and big surprise here) he was soooo HAPPY!!! He finally was going to be able to knock over everything in his path without restraint from the so called “warden”. Ha! He was free to destroy everything without me giving him looks or asking for another “chat” to remind him of the plan. Nope, none of that. He was in full destruction mode and frankly, I was a little scared. However, I think he quickly regretted the decision to take out all those pines! Knocking them over was not that simple! But, honestly, when is anything ever that simple for us?!?
Virginia pines are a pain in the rear according to Jim. He would knock over 1 or 2 and a whole group would try to come up. Or he would try to knock down some and all the roots were joined and he would find himself trying to push over 20 trees at a time. Sometimes, the trees would bend and then pop back up and smack the dozer or the dozer operator. Those trees were fierce! If a tree did push over easily it was a miracle!
Jim’s war against the Virginia Pines. Ha Ha! Jim finally had the last laugh!
It took Jim months to knock over all those trees. Literally, months of spending all his spare time fighting those trees. I couldn’t believe that it could take that long, but those Virginia pines were a jungle! Just as he was starting to make progress we realized that we had a new problem with pushing over that many trees. We had huge brush piles everywhere. HUGE Brush Piles. EVERYWHERE. And we were in a drought. A really bad drought! Not so simple….
More brush piles…
And more brush piles…. They were everywhere…
And we couldn’t do anything about the weather…