September 01, 2023

today, recurring Kulp Estates character Billy came over from 8a to 8p for a day of snakes, bugs, sweat, and close calls with a chainsaw.

Project 1 - burn pile

when a tornado hit our property earlier this year, dozens of trees were knocked down. a logging crew removed most of them, and several friends stayed over for a weekend to help repair fences. but the damage is still visible. and we're still having bad luck!

just a few weeks ago, lightning struck a couple of our trees and split them in half, around 20 feet off the ground. so our first project today was conslidating the fallen limbs into a burn pile.
small portion of the storm damage

learning how to roll logs
in theory, pushing stuff around with a tractor bucket is simple. in practice, it isn't. you have to constantly adjust your hydraulics -- i'm talking every few inches -- to not leave behind a bunch of brush.
after making a big pile, we moved on to the fallen tree's stump itself. it's huge!
sadly i procastinated on this task, which means a good bit of earth back-filled itself into the open cavity following the day this tree fell. as a result it's not as simple as simply cutting + repositioning it in place, something we tried to do anyway.
my 39 HP tractor is no match for this stump

after wasting a couple hours on this stump alone, we surrounded it with a mound of dirt and moved on to the next project.

Project 2 - island limb removal

our pond has a small island with a bunch of trees, and the tornado pushed most of them over. since it's an island we can't get any equipment out there beyond our bare 2 hands and a chainsaw.

here's what we want to get rid of, this terrible limb view from our dock:

and here was our solution.

i did most of the rowing, Billy would tie off + cut the limbs. then 1-2 at a time we would take our 250+ foot rope back to the dock, strap it to a UTV, and tow the limbs to shore.

here's what we started with.

and here's a succesful extraction of just 1 limb, which we repeated many times.
i held up the "mule tap" while Billy drove the UTV to prevent breaking the sprinklers

this experience was a literal reminder of the power of working with leverage. when you're pulling heavy tree limbs from a canoe you have zero leverage. any force you exert will just move your own position. the tree always wins.

eventually we got all visible limbs back to land and towed them away with the tractor + pallet fork. but it took around 25 trips and 7 hours to remove just 2 trees this way.

here are a couple more action shots from my POV in the boat and tractor.
when you buy a ranch, get ready to make tree removal a regular part of your week.
Spent: $700.00 | Time: 12.0 hours
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