After working my way through the first section, I realized the stuff I’d cleared away had hidden quite a bit. So here are some before photos of the next section. (click on them to see them better)
The little spruces were far enough from the fence that I found myself wondering, should I take them out, or should I just prune them clear of the fence? When I’m in that situation, I try to think ahead 10, 20 or more years. What will they be like if I leave them?
This was made easy today, by looking at the large spruce that’s already there, even closer to the fence.
What tree, you might be asking?
This one. In the during and after photos.
Yup, those little spruces were completely hiding a huge spruce, right at the fence.
Also, another little spruce that grew under the fence line and even wound its way back and forth around them.
Reaching that big spruce was my goal for the day. If all goes well, the next time I work here, I should reach the gate.
In that after photo, note the red Christmas light bulb. Look for it in these next photos.
The first of these three photos was taken from outside the fence line, where I went to clear some of the trees growing there. There are many more, closer to the ditch, that need to be cleared, but those will wait for now.
If you look closely, you can see that red Christmas light bulb in the first and third photos.
Did you notice something else in the after photos? Take another look at the top fence wire. What you can see of it, anyhow.
I found a temporary fix for the broken wire.
Once I cleared this area of the fence line, I found that when I pulled on the end with the loop in it (on the left of the above photo), it could almost touch the broken end (on the right in the photo, now with its own loop). I don’t know when I’ll be able to fix it properly, but I didn’t want to leave it broken and hanging, either. So I went to the garage and grabbed some zip ties, created a new loop on the broken wire end, and joined them by linking 4 zip ties loosely together. Once they were all linked, I tightened all the zip ties as much as I could, then trimmed the ends with the pruning shears. Now, the top line that was broken is tighter than the middle line, which got stretched when the tree fell on it, but didn’t break. 🙂
While making my way to the garage, I found this.
Another bench, made out of logs with a board across the top. I’ve gone through here a few times, but had to practically step on it before I saw it! I tried to pick it up, to see if it was usable, but it is so rotten, it started to fall apart, so I left it for now. It will be cleared out when we get to taking out all the deadwood and continuing to clean up the spruce grove, next year. Though on this end, it’s not really a spruce grove any more. Closer to the garage, and the south fence line, it’s more poplar, elms and oak. The elms and oak are in rows, so those were planted deliberately. The poplar looks to have sown itself. There are even what might be some apple trees in here.
Once I’ve cleared the East fence line to the gate, I will work my way down the south fence line, along the driveway, just enough to clear it. There are poplars growing right at the wires, and while the south fence line has good posts, just like the East line does, many of them are falling over. Especially right next to the garage. It is along this fence line that the power cord from the garage runs. We might not get to straightening them out this year, but if there’s going to be electrical cord supported by this fence, I want it to be able to stay upright!
We shall see how far along there we will be able to get, before the weather turns.
Looking ahead to the future, I hope to have a number of seating areas scattered about – with seats made of materials that won’t rot or degrade as quickly as the wooden benches I’ve been finding. The goal is to clear this area enough to give it a park-like feel, plus I want to be able to see through the trees from the house to the driveway. At the same time, I do want to leave some of the undergrowth, too. Dogwood. Wild roses. False spirea. Junipers. I look forward to planting shade loving plants and flowers in areas where they can naturalize, and ground cover that can be walked on. Over time, I want this yard, including the spruce and maple groves, to be a sanctuary, not only for us humans, but to shelter some of the native wildlife, and to provide food and shelter for native pollinators as well.