Crystal falls, Leander Texas
Beautiful land (see attached map), we worked in area for years doing black cap vireo habitat restoration. Years ago the tract was partly cleared by a dozer, piles were made and burned. Next our forestry mower followed up by Prescribed Burn to reclaim vireo habitat. With the rains of the past year grasses and wildflowers have been better than many people remember.
Two acres where two sides of property line are streams. Focusing on Urban sensibilities. However, there is the question of patches of over grassed ranch land now overgrown with Junipers (cedars). This is a catastrophic combination of wildfire threats, and bad water conservation. One big fire X on sub division.
I have read about this combination for 50 years. Ranchers let cows grase grass (native grasses eaten down typically dies). Junipers start growing and shades out plants that would help recovery from overgrazing. Then the junipers grow, no grass to hold the soil and junipers in a 1 inch rain 80% is absorbed in the needles 10% on what lies under the juniper and less than 8% goes into the ground. What is absorbed evaporated out into the air and is lost. Not good stewardship practice.
We at Natural Texas know about land stewardship. When we do land clearing we use land stewardship practices to change property from a water shed to a water catchment, turn a wild fire threat into a mosaic of trees and prairie. Doing erosion techniques to slow water down to turn erosion prolbem into a rain water catchment by forestry mowing junipers ditto for brush to reduce the fire threat.
On top of this we have studied wildlife communities needs, this includes birds, & butterflies. Being arborvitae we know what individual needs trees are, plus what is native and what is not. Saving all the live oaks does not make sense. They all do not live to a ripe old age, we do not either and for the same reasons. We selective remove trees that will never actualize their potential, and leave the ones that will.
Consequently we do not mow everything like it is a lawn. We selectively mow. Think of Natural Texas as a gardener forestry mowing to promote a healthy Central Texas Native Landscape. To do so takes dedication, and continuing education and a personal library. We do our work with a purpose.
Think about leaving habitat, for instance taking the height off of tall dead trees, leaving the trunk for woodpeckers, owls and other critters, leaving a log or two for them to nibble on. Keeping native grass and wildflowers alive and letting them grow tall to feed natural world! Bees, insects, small birds, large birds, coons, cotes. Plus filtering urban run off for clear running streams. What is not to like? Leave a little mess!
Stewardship is not about rural land it is about all land and resources.
The red area has bull dozer blight. A road with a berm of dirt along side. Trees growing in disrupted earth, Not very forestry mower friendly. A lot of chainsaw work done by hand. Damaged valuable trees also by hand. Lot of native plants and grasses, some erosion issues.
The blue area provide a screen from the neighbors, Our technique of a green wall provides privacy, tree service work provides a walk around area beneath hardwood trees, leaving some habitat for shelter and forage for the natural world. A maybe island to remove for house pad, other points of interest. Remove a little take a look make a decision, then repeat till satisfied.
The yellow is another woodland needing thinned out. Lots of Red buds, Texas persimmon and black cherry trees, are left if you know what they look like. We do. There are relations between trees once that are in the right spot are going to make it other trees who are not are doomed to die. A natural occurrence. A necessary occurrence. We selective remove the ones that are not to provide the space for the good trees to grow into. A nice edge looking down to a creek. Nice to look down as well as up. Variety is good.
The lavender goes to midstream with a sort of negative edge of a bluff. Nice to have a trail along the edge. Big Texas junipers are like California Red Wood you want to take your had off as you walk among them. An up rooted tree is a bench that is being pulled apart as skunks, coons and other creatures make a snack of grubs.
The lot can be more than a house with people with computers and social media, swimming pools, golf tees, and the lord of the house. It can be all of these plus a world that has been going on for a million years, to walk around in and marvel about.
You have to be aware and see what is in front of you. Land cleaning is a no brainer. Leave the live oaks take out the rest. People do it rather cheap, it is effective and it can be done fast. Were as we can do some areas fast the lot is a micro environment of the whole area.
Natural Texas is twice as much as cleaning? You bet you pay for stewardship and the preservation of your spot on this Earth. Don’t you wish everyone would?
Forest and Land Management
Thank you so much for the terrific job that you and your crew did in clearing the trees around my house last week. Things look nicer now than they have in years. Next time I need some tree work! You are at the top of my list.Chandier StolpAustin, Texas
You and your crew did a wonderful job clearing and mulching at my place near McDade last winter. The woods were very overgrown after decades of neglect. In three days work, you and your crew removed a huge amount of brush and ‘fire ladders’, making a vast improvement for wildlife and fire safety. You listened to my requests but made numerous suggestions how to improve the plans that I had made, with the result of more benefits for wildlife and more beauty to appreciate. I was astonished how you guys could work fast and accomplish a lot with the big forestry mower, yet leave unscathed even small bushes we wanted to save. You taught me a lot about taking care of the place and the new pathways and pocket meadows have been a joy for me and my family. I’m looking forward to having you do more this year. Let me mention that all our interactions were very professional, your team came when you said they would, and I can’t think of anything to complain about. I recommended you to my neighbors and I’m happy to answer any questions about your work. Best regards, Dave Naumann Mc Dade, TX and Hoboken, NJDave NaumannLand Steward