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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tree Planting Adventures

A few weeks ago, almost a month now, we planted about 300 trees for a new windbreak on the east side of our place. It was the one direction where the farmstead was not well protected from wind and other nasty weather. Our last snowstorm (not very long ago) was fierce and from the east. And it was not fit for man nor beast with that cold wet wind from the east.

While we won't receive the full benefit of this windbreak for many years to come, the trees and windbreaks we planted before we had kids (1994- 1996) have grown considerably and provide great protection. We planted a variety of trees, some smaller and quick growing (redozier dogwoods and gray dogwoods) and some larger, slower-growing (white spruce and black hills spruce, and walnut).

The challenge has been keeping the cattle and sheep out of them, as we haven't yet been able to get a secure fence around them. That is complicated by the fact that we have steel fencing and yards being installed, so all the old yards/fencing have been pulled out. So if anything gets out, there isn't much to stopping them. This usually happens when I am home alone with the kids (like yesterday). Thankfully we got cattle in easily and put up some gates (where they were going to go anyway). I look forward to seeing this windbreak 10-15 years down the road. We have plans to plant more windbreaks next year and in a few other areas on the 400 acres as well.

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