Monday, August 23, 2010

"Self Pruning" Pecan Trees

My tree service told me that Pecan trees are "self pruning," which I guess just means that it isn't necessary during pruning to remove every dead branch with a saw. And I must say, judging from the amount of branches and twigs that fall into my yard on a daily basis year 'round, he seems to be right. Greta thinks it's great, because she would much rather chase a stick then a ball, and I do have an endless supply!

Since I have a wood burning fireplace and last year I never seemed to have enough kindling, I've been saving twigs and branches as they fall into my yard. And when I had the alley fence put in, there were a lot of scrub trees that were taken out. We spent a great deal of time cutting them into 12 inch pieces to have for kindling this winter. (And if I may, I'm just going say here that preparing for winter when it's 100+ degrees outside is a great display of OPTIMISM. Yes, it could also be called a display of demented behaviour, but I choose to call it OPTIMISM. :::grin:::: )

That is all fine and well but it does become a storage issue. I looked everywhere for a small kindling rack for the backyard, but didn't like any that I found. They were too wide for my sized pieces, or the rack was too tiny for the volume I have, or it was simply too expensive. I found a company that sells metal braces that hold the ends of 2"x4"s to help you build any type of rack that you want -- $20. I ordered them, and they've been languishing in my shed for weeks. I finally got the project done this weekend.

It's not the most asthestically pleasing thing I've ever seen, but it's very functional. The top half holds sticks that are longer, and not straight, and the bottom is for the nice and tidy cut 12 inch pieces. Also up on the top shelf I have the big pieces of tree bark from my two stumps. I've never burned those before, but doesn't it seem like they would be great firestarters? Regardless, I'm quite pleased to check this off of my To Do List. (Greta is certain that I've just built her a toy chest.)

I still have a couple of buckets of twigs left over. I have some natural twine, and I'm going to bundle those for fire starters that I can just toss into the fire for a quick start. Some day soon you'll see me on my porch... a ball of twine and a bucket of twigs... I'm sure the neighbors will be entertained with my antics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We can agree that pecan trees seem to be "self-pruning." Each time the wind blows, some limbs fall from our six pecan trees that are at least five stories tall. There's not a week that goes by that there are several limbs falling. I noticed a younger two stories tall pecan tree that is on our property's fence row facing our patio. One summer morning, I noticed there were several limbs stripped of bark from the attachment to the trunk all around each limb's base. I wonder what happened in one night? The limbs have now died and are hanging deadly. They are drying out and waiting for wind to fall off. We have gray squirrels roaming the trees and maybe their bark strippers. If they are not, I have no idea why the tree's shed the limbs. The trees do shed the bigger diameter limbs when they become dead and rotten. Our trees have been struck with lightning and survived several times we were told. The bark grows back at the edge of the line of strike pretty quickly. When lightning struck this summer, bark piece flew at least fifty feet. Someone told us, they were told to nail the bark back on to help the tree recover. But our tree's bark was disposed of asap. Too late--the peice of advice, but may help others, if that works. Another tree has been measured around the base and is sixteen feet in circumfrance. As far as one of the trees that leans over the road on the other side's property line: if it is green its deemed okay by our insurance agent. If it falls and damages property, it's not our fault. That portion of the tree is at least 3 stories tall too tall to trim for blockage. Thanks for your tales and remedy to put the twigs to good use. I thought of fire starters and kindling myself, but the sooner we can get them moved from the yard the happier we are with our multple times of bending our tired backs. Chiropractic adjustments solve that; however, we appreciate the time lapses between the storms. Rest and start over! Thanks--Pecan Girl Observer