Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Picture this area covered with a 6-20 foot tangle of weedy trees, shrubs, and vines

We did a good project on Monday, not that they aren't all good. Working in the Holly Magnolia Collection, we cleared an area in which several large trees had fallen, through which had grown bush-honeysuckles, mulberries, ampelopsis, Japanese bittersweet, and assorted unwanted shrubs, saplings, and vines. The dense undergrowth obstructed the view in to the parking area at Kingman overlook from Hickey Hill Road. During the clean-up we discovered various pieces of physical evidence suggesting that the area was being used for nefarious purposes. Opening the view to the parking area will, we hope, discourage these kinds of activities.

We do this kind of job occasionally as part of our group project schedule, and over time we have refined our techniques, added mechanization, and greatly improved our efficiency. Where we used to cut and pull shrubs and trees, we now, if the slope allows, use the bush-hog. Ed (Boxwood ASRT) has gotten quite skilled at maneuvering it and it both cuts and chips at the same time. This means we don't have to haul the debris to the Brickyard, and we don't have to subsequently pay to have it chipped. We save time hauling, gas, wear and tear on the vehicles, wear and tear on employees (us), and are able to cover, actually uncover, a lot more ground in a day. We still have to cut up fallen trees, and the bushhog can't get to all of the undesirables, but we are now many times more efficient than we were a year ago thanks to Ed, the tractor, and the bushhog. On Monday 4.75 people (I missed 2 hours) cleared over 1/3 of an acre of badly overgrown brush. Pretty good.

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