A Fence Line Revealed
Recently (Sept 17 & 18) we did fence line around back half of 10 acres. The owner, like a lot of owners, asked how wide is the equipment? It is 6 foot. Perfect, he says. He wants it cleared 6 foot wide. It has been 12 years since he was able to wiggle his way through brush and trees along the fence. Some land has been in the family for 3-5 generations, anywhere from 10-15 years to 50 to 75 years. They all want the fence cleared to build or repair their fence. Only 6-8 feet is necessary. They want to be frugal as their ancestors…of course it was prairie back then…not necessarily what is there today. This is when reality hits the pavement…hard.
Sir…there is a canopy of very large post oak that has fallen on your fence…just beyond it there is a very large eastern red cedar that fell and its canopy is parallel to the fence…the yaupons are 12 feet tall with horizontal 15 foot limbs. Within the yaupons are small trees growing randomly. The spaghetti I had for dinner last night was less tangled! Sure the equipment is 6 foot wide but that super large tree is within that area.
Okay, we go around it. We go around all obstacles in order to find a way to mulch it without damaging adjacent trees that are to stay. Debris is mulched up and you can drive your tractor around the perimeter of your property again. The trees that stay look great…an arborist culled out not-so-great trees. But there are other results too.
There is a good firebreak around this newly selectively cleared fence line. The dead fall, brush and small trees are mulched leaving good space for firefighters to work and save your structures. More animals and birds will feed on seeds and such with next spring growth. By clearing out beneath the canopy of large trees next to the fence they are protected from wildfire going and coming while not competing for water and nutrients from brush and small trees. Yes, this helps during a drought, and mulch does for them what it does in your landscape…retards erosion…conserves water…protects soil from sun…promotes seed germination of wild flowers and native grasses…composts down into useful nutrients. And, yes we can do a couple more days for trails and such and spread other days over years to eventually get it manageable .
About Carl Brockman
An Austin native, Carl Brockman is passionate about preserving the natural landscape of Texas. Carl is an ISA Certified Arborist, formally trained in prescribed burn management and in wildland firefighting, educated in wildlife management, and has more than twenty years experience helping landowners realize their properties’ potential. Through Carl’s experience and vision, Natural Texas has the ability to increase the productivity of your land, as well as its value.