Dear Friends and Family,
I mentioned we are moving woods from the back of our property to the North-east side in the previous letter. To say “moving the woods” is somewhat deceptive, as trees are not easily moved.
What you end up doing is you you re-move the woods, by cutting trees, and then plant new ones elsewhere. Our woods consisted of many Norway maples, which are not particularly beautiful, or edible – they are a non-nitrogen fixing, colonizing tree (great for taking back deserted human waste-land). We also have two Elms, a treasured suburban tree that was decimated by Dutch Elm disease, and a Catalpa, which fixes nitrogen and produces pods, which we decided to leave as canopy trees over the planned hillside with hazels.
I spoke with a couple of companies about re-moving our woods — both companies that love trees, and doing things right. Talking with people who really know trees is immensely enjoyable – they can see so much about the trees’ health, future, past, relationships. I find it amazing that people can have learned so much about trees – beings that are so different from us (even while being such a part of our world). I engaged Land of Plenty. The day after the fiddlehead transplant, they came for two days to take down eleven Norway maples, a few other small trees we wanted to replace. There was a team of three: Ben, Luke, Brad. Below is a photo of one of Luke up in one of the trees.
By removing the Norway maples, we will create space for hazelnuts and honey-locusts (which fix nitrogen, provide lots of nectar for pollinators, grow pods for livestock, and can be coppiced for young wood). We will also get more sun in the southern half of the site. A third use of the cut Maples is to store their carbon. All of the wood from the Maples will go underground to form the core of hugelkulturs, swales and terraces (the latter two on the hill). There, the wood will decompose into humus, and the carbon in the humus will remain underground for a long time. Yeah, goodbye carbon!