Old Wood Pile

wood pile.JPG

Libby and I came upon this old wood pile when we were hiking the perimeter of Fallen Timbers some weeks back. I’d forgotten it was there. This is in the area my neighbor had logged, not knowing where the true property line ran. He only stopped after he’d taken two acres of our trees, but that’s a different matter.

Soon after that incident, Seth and I made an effort to clearly distinguish the surveyed line. We set a few posts and hung a few signs, but we also attempted to cut up some of the slash left behind by the loggers.

Slash is the tree top that the loggers can’t use after they take the trunk of the tree. Take a look at the largest oak tree you can find. You’ll possibly see ten to fifteen feet of clear, straight trunk. This is what the loggers are interested in. But atop that are wide-spreading branches that form the crown of the tree. Now, picture this wide-spreading crown lying on the ground. (Picture more than 80 of them spread over two acres.) Even though the branches of the crown could make good fire wood, the loggers aren’t interested in such a labor-intensive product and leave the slash behind. While all of this cover and rotting wood is beneficial for wildlife, it also presents a fire hazard since so much hot-burning fuel is now accessible to the inevitable ground fires that tend to come in the spring.

These thickets of slash make it almost impossible for hikers to walk their boundary lines. And so Seth and I got busy with the chainsaw one long-ago day to begin slicing a path through the slash. Much of what we cut we simply let fall to the ground where it could eventually enrich the soil. But we also stacked some of it, not with the intention of retrieving it later for a campfire — the site was too remote — but simply to show anyone passing near the property line that we had been by and were paying attention. There are several such woodpiles along the western property line including one that is sizeable.

Now, as you can see, the woodpile is rotting into the earth. The scrub has returned, as it has throughout the two acres where sunlight now reaches the forest floor. We never finished the job of clearing the perimeter, but much of the slash is now collapsing, and regardless, the scrub has grown so thick in some places that we have to divert around it anyway.

Still, it is nice to come upon such a site in the middle of the trackless forest and recall a day of hard work with my son.

Housekeeping Note: Roundrock Journal was moved to a new server yesterday afternoon. Some of you thousands who deign to visit here may have noticed an hour or two when it was offline. All is well now, and I hope there will be no interruptions in the future. Also, I didn’t get my site meter reset, so my total continues to run.

Further Update: I don’t know what the problem with leaving comments is, but I’ll have my webmaster look into it as soon as he can out there on the Left Coast.

13 Responses to “Old Wood Pile”

  1. Wayne Says:

    Wow – that was quick! I just was going to reply to your email about it!

  2. FloridaCracker Says:

    I plan to get my Silva Ranger compass out and run my lines with my genetically similar machete crew.

  3. FloridaCracker Says:

    Testing…my comment did not post.

  4. Rurality Says:

    Any good fungi there?

    After seeing the picture I was afraid that hunters were about to really take liberties with your land!

  5. dread pirate roberts Says:

    that pile represents some hard work.

  6. Rexroth's Daughter Says:

    Nice old woodpile you have there. Sometimes there’s a bit of nostalgia in the most unlikely places.

  7. vicki Says:

    Will I be able t leave a message? We shall see…One of the reasons I enjoy coming over here Pablo is the always present feeling for the cycle of life as nature rises and falls and rises again at Roundrock.

  8. Thunder Says:

    Hadn’t visited in awhile so it took me a little bit to get caught up. Let’s see if I can keep these straight (going from present backward):
    Bummer about the 2 acres of trees!
    Nice photo of the fern.
    Yes, in those parts of the Ozarks it’s doubtful that a piece of paper would stop ancestrial hunters.

  9. rachel Says:

    that was a sad day when you found out about the logger.

  10. Floridacracker Says:

    Okay, now I can post and I forgot what I was gonna say.

  11. Wayne Says:

    I guess I didn’t check to see if my post (THE VERY FIRST ONE) took, but it didn’t. It was just a congratulations that things went smoothly. You can be sure I won’t write a book here yet, Mr. Administrator.

  12. oldwhitelady Says:

    Where are all my comments from yesterday? :)

    Nice wood pile. Too bad it’s in such a remote area, but if it helps others know it’s around your boundary, then I guess it’s a good idea. It sounds as though you and Seth put a lot of hard work into cutting the slash!

  13. Glacialhills Says:

    I walked out in the back of my woods a few weeks back and to my shock, there were all these blue arrows and dots on the trees near my property line. My wonderful neighbor had a forester out and neglected to inform me about it. I sent him a very polite certified letter stating that I believed the trees marked( a few that are veneer grade 25″+ black walnut) were on my property. He replied back after 3 and a half weeks later…And I assume after consulting a lawyer… and said Opps…so sorry I will get a survey done. I called around and just that one line survey was 3-4500 dollars. after the survey there were the trees with the blue paint obviously on my side of the stakes and one walnut right on the line. He asked if they could just pay me for the trees that were marked and that that one walnut was in danger of lightning or wind damage and was at “harvest time”. well I dont want the trees cut. and told him so. He said that was a problem and he was going to check to see what could be done. He is a rich vetrinarian with hundreds of acres and unlimited resources and I am living on this little 10 acre woodlot and dissability after serving our country in the Navy. I just hope I can keep my trees. (he let slip that just that one tree on our line is worth at least 3000 dollars.) wish me luck.

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