This week I thought I would show you how we are actually doing that work of tree removal. As farmers we often have a lot of equipment, but we don’t always have the “right equipment” for every job. So what we have in the barn often times changes how we go about a project.
For our farm we have our excavator, bulldozer, and a very hot fire. With these tools we completed this job pretty much done in a few days. I say “pretty much” because the weather turned on us mid-project and we had to take a break to let things dry out a bit.
Here are the very complicated, very long steps of tree removal… Step 1: Knock the trees over with the bulldozer. Step 2: Start a very hot fire. Step 3: Drag the trees to the burn pile. Step 4: Put the tree on the very hot fire with the excavator. ….and voila!
As you can see the process actually really is very simple. Our goal here is to try to touch the tree as little as possible, because every time we do it costs us money in efficiency loss.
Now if you want to start an actual controversial orchard conversation we can chat about variety to plant, how or when to thin double density plantings, how to prune, or what spacing to plant. But you better have a comfy seat, and a lot of coffee or a lot of beer, because those discussions will take awhile!
We decided to knock down a block of our orchards where some of our oldest hazelnut (aka filbert) trees were. We removed these Barcelona hazelnut trees last year and then planted the new variety last week.
We probably could have chosen a drier day, there was a lot of mud, but in Oregon we know how to work in the mud.
We planted a newer variety from Oregon State University called Polly Os. First the trees were planted and then we added a bamboo stake next to it. The bamboo, once tied to the trunk, gives the tree more strength against the wind and gives birds a place to land (if they land on the new tree it can break off the top).
All we have left to do now is add some mulch around the base of the tree to conserve moisture and add tree protector to provide protection from sunburn and chemical burn.
While it wasn’t an easy decision to take out trees that have been there since 1990, it also was equally not as fun to keep heavily spraying and pruning for the Eastern filbert blight that we continually battled. At some point we had to make a decision, and I’m glad we made it before our costs outweighed our yields.
We are on the homestretch of harvest for filberts, also known as hazelnuts. The weather is changing into fall here on Oregon, and while we have had pretty good weather this harvest, I’m sort of ready for the rain.
Here is a video of me harvesting a younger orchard of Jefferson hazelnuts.
Right now you can buy our hazelnuts in all Wilco Farm Stores, and come November in Albertson/Safeway and Bi-Mart! Oregon orchards is the brand and here are my personal favorite ones!!!
They are soooooooo good!!
This also wraps up harvest for all our crops here on the farm. We have a little more ground to work but other than that we will be starting to put things away for the winter.
It’s always a good feeling to wrap up another year on the farm!