Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Timber!

Posted by: Rick

We had some pretty high winds on Thursday and Thursday night. Sometime overnight two large (dead) trees fell in the meadow. These are trees that were killed by beetles several years ago. Eventually, all the dead trees will fall.

The bad news is that each time a tree falls, we lose some of the buffer we have against the prevailing west winds. The good news is we get a cord or two of fire wood for the next year.

Here is a closer view:

You can see that the larger tree just fell over with its root ball intact and has two trunks.

The smaller tree got caught in another tree and ended up in a strange position.

A closer view of that.

It had snowed and blown enough that we had to use snowshoes to take the short hike through the meadow. Destin was oblivious to anything other than playing in the snow.

Comments:

It blew a gale here too Thursday night into Friday.  A lot of branches down, but no trees - at least not in my yard - except for a dwarf Alberta spruce in a pot!!  grin

It looks like new trees are growing up to replace the ones lost to beetles. That must be a good thing, right? Are the beetles still around or was that just a particularly bad (but temporary) infestation? Will the new trees get beetles too?

Steve. Yes, there are some pine trees that are growing. The beetles typically would not attack a tree with a trunk diameter of ~4 inches or less. So, lots of very small pine trees. And, the aspen trees will tend to invade an open area like our meadow (they grow like weeds), so we should have a nice aspen grove in there over time—if the elk, moose and deer don’t eat them all as they grow.

As I understand it, the beetles are still around, but at levels that are “normal”. Years of drought yielding weak and unhealthy trees as well as a few years with higher beetle populations led to the massive kill from a few years ago. And, there are new threats to the remaining trees such as certain kinds of moths, etc. So, it is nature rebalancing herself over time. All this leads to tremendous risk for fire, which of course would “correct” things over a 100 years or so.

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