LIFE ON THE FARM
Often people ask us, "What do you do on a Christmas tree farm from New Years to Columbus Day"? The following photos and captions should help you understand at least a little of what goes on at our farm beefore the harvest season begins.
This April as soon as the frost was mostly out of the ground, we removed the stumps of Spruce trees that were cut in 2011 on about 3 1/2 acres. We tilled the soil removing roots and other debris and planted it to barley.” The barley was strictly a cover crop intended to improve the soil before we plant new trees in it. We did the removal with an E50 Bobcat excavator and did the seeding with a Brillion seeder, both rented from LW Greenwood and Sons in East Randolph, VT.
James Sabens pulling stumps from the ground in the upper field.
James on the tractor with grapple removing roots, stumps, etc. while Lew is resting the excavator briefly in the lower field.
This is an average stump pulled from the ground. Many were larger.
This is a sample of the debris to be removed in the upper field.
SUMMER 2013 LAND CLEARING
In order to continue to have land available for planting new Christmas trees we hired Bruce Limlaw and his experienced crew under the watchful eye of our forester, Rose Beatty to clear approximately 12 acres of overgrown Christmas trees and to thin an adjoining stand of overcrowded young growth hardwood timber trees. Here is a stand of Balsam Fir taken before the cutting began in July.
To accomplish this with the minimal impact on the soil the Limlaw crew used a Timberjack 750G “Feller- Buncher” seen here placing a number of trees in a pile.
If you are wondering how the Feller Buncher is able to quickly cut a tree, the answer is found in the circular blade seen here. As a frame of reference when the machine shut down, Lew noticed that it took over 12 minutes for the blade to come to a stop, such was the speed of operation and the weight of the blade.
Once the Feller-Buncher got a good head start (a couple of days,) the Morbark chipper arrived and was fed by two large John Deere 750G skidders. The chipper could process up to a 30” tree stem or a number of smaller ones at one time.
The chips were blown into a 53 foot tractor trailer and taken to one of the two wood chip powered electric power plants (Burlington Electric and Ryegate Power Station).
When completed the area had suffered minimal damage and grass was starting to grow as shown here in early September.
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