Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tractor love

Yes. I'm in love with a Mahindra 3016. LJ's cool with it. Lol.

Last night, in under two hours, we cleared a HUGE amount of brambles and brush. Would have taken both of us probably 3 full days to do as much with just the clearing saw and a rake. Sweet! The brush hog attachment makes short work of berry brambles, and LJ has developed a technique for efficiently clearing 8' high walls of thorns. He drives into them with the bucket high, drops the bucket with the teeth pointed at the ground, and simply backs the tractor up, pulling the berry vines with him. Driving forward, he runs them over with the brush hog, and goes in for another bite. Very very effective!

We really want to replant the timber, but we first have to clear out all the berries, scotch broom, and junk saplings. If it will stop raining for just a couple hours one afternoon, I'm going to go out with the chainsaw and cut some tractor paths. We're leaving all the cedars, Doug Fir, etc that we find. There's a lot of them out there, but the brush is severely hampering their growth. I have a feeling that a couple years of bramble free sunshine will really jumpstart our little patch of forest. As the trees get bigger, they will in turn choke out the blackberries (ah... I dream of the day). Our little tractor is sure going to help with that!


Paula said...

Nothing like a man that can handle heavy equipment, even if it's little, heavy equipment. Are you guys going to plant any hardwoods, or are you sticking to conifers?

I guess you'll want to put in some hazels, huh? For your porkers?

Anyway, I'm glad you have a good piece of equipment that's making life easier for you. But now you don't need a goat.

Rachael said...

Two things: 1) I got a kick at how nonchalantly mention heading out with the chainsaw. LOL 2) I would give anything for some blackberry bushes! They must be pretty prevalent where you are if you need to get rid of them. They are becoming harder and harder to find here in NW PA. I remember acres of them as a kid where we would go and pick for hours.

Rae said...

Paula- I'm actually a little relieved about no goats. Lol. The tractor is so much easier to take care of! It doesn't need to be fed every day, I can lock it in the shop when I'm not using it, and it doesn't escape and hop on the neighbor's cars (and our neighbor has a couple pretty nice cars).

We may put in some non-coniferous trees. The property is peppered with alders, maples, and some hazelnuts even. We'll leave the ones that are large and healthy. As far as planting more, well, we haven't planned that far ahead yet. :)

Rachael- I LOVE my little chainsaw. It isn't any good for big trees, but perfect for limbs, saplings, and smaller trees. Using a chainsaw is addicting, and you can make a really big mess in a very short amount of time. Lol. I used it for a half hour last night, and spent an hour picking up everything I cut down. LJ uses his monster saw (that I can barely pick up, let alone wield) to cut down the big stuff. Mine is better for limbing.

As for blackberries, they grow like crazy here. If you don't keep after them, they'll engulf sheds, equipment, and small children (ok, kidding on the children, maybe). I had access to manageable blackberry bushes when I was a kid in CA and loved it. Here though, they get a little ridiculous. :)

kpannabecker said...

First of all, I'm so envious of you having that beautiful, maybe even sexy, tractor. I've been living in the country too long, do you think? One day maybe we'll justify the expense.

Second of all, I can barely start our chainsaw so I'd love to know what kind you have. I'd like one for smaller jobs too. I'll let James handle the big stuff.