Minnesota Farmer

Tree line trim
April 26, 2015, 2:36 pm
Filed under: Farm, harvest, Trees, wood heat | Tags: , , ,

We have several places on our farms where we have lines of trees to slow wind movement across the fields.  As those trees get older, branches will lean or fall into the field.  Usually I just go out and take out the branches that reach the farthest into a field.  This year I decided to do something a bit more drastic on our oldest tree line.


Branches can reach out into the field a long ways.  This means they are sometimes brushing onto harvesting and planting equipment.  The plantable area gets pushed away from the trees and the area between becomes a weed nursery.


I’ve been cutting the branches that lean into the field and harvesting the largest parts for winter’s fuel.  The smaller branches are pushed into a pile and burned.


When it’s done you have a clean area right up to the trees that can be cared for more easily.  The trees are also less likely to break in a wind or ice storm.


There is also more wood for the wood pile.


2 Comments so far
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I’ve never had a farm to work but Did a little toward homestead type things w/ 10 acres and $0 budget, lol. I love to see family-owned farms and always wondered about the different ways to work and manage them, so I might learn something!
Question: Do you ever use the old branches for something else, like instead of burning them, using a wood chipper and using for mulching or worm beds or in the chicken yard or things like that?
I’ve seen some wood scraps used in piles called hugelkulture too, but I admit I think that technique is most useful in dry climates, but also useful in/as Swales. Not for big acre farming but good for retain moisture while braking down into longterm nutrients for trees or maybe berries. Someday I hope to try it in SE Mn (we’re moving there in 2 weeks from SW CO!)
Thanks so much for sharing your farm life!

Comment by illoura

When I have a pro come in I do have him chip the branches. I’ve used them for garden mulch on things like raspberries. They need to be composted for a bit first though because of possible insect and mold infestations.

Comment by Michael

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