Stumpin’ II

What with all the early snow cover, the hasn’t properly frozen on the North End this winter, and we used that to our advantage.  As soon as we finished the cutting last weekend, Dave called to schedule a machine to pull the remaining stumps.  Dick Holbrook passed away last year, and his family has taken on the operation of the business; Eben sent his guy Will down with a Deere 160 excavator, the biggest they’ve got.  In about 6 hours he moved all the firewood off of the orchard, piled the brush, pulled a dozen or so big stumps and tossed them over the stone wall, dug several large rocks, and moved last year’s rockpile outside the fenceline.  Here he is at work:

dropping-a-stump.jpg

At the end of the day, the orchard was ready for fence and trees.  The fenceline we’ve scoped out will enclose about a half of an acre, with room for at least 22 and perhaps 24 full size trees.  Next weekend we’ll burn three big piles of brush and scope out the situation for the fence; hopefully we can get the fence and gate done in time to move the trees in late April or early May.  Then we can cut trees to the south and east of the orchard at our leisure to let more light in.  Having worked in the orchard during a strong northwest blow, I’m inclined to leave the line of big pines that separate the orchard from the fields down toward the cove, to shelter the trees.  Here’s the scene at the end of the day, with brush, rocks, and firewood piled neatly to the north:

08-stumping-finished.jpg

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