Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wagmore Farm: The Bloody Great Forest Begins to Take Shape

My last few blog posts I've talked about the need to create a Bloody Great Forest on one edge of our property.  I made the plan, I found trees, and now….  The Great Forest is taking shape.

A couple weeks ago The Husband spent a long (rainy) weekend at Wagmore, working with a crew to put 146(!) trees along the fence line.

Here's the story in pictures:

The First step was to clear part of the fence line. 
Apparently, the crew cleared this out really quickly. 
Which makes all the time I've spent clearing brush on the property seem like a silly pastime.

As an added bonus, I can do some burning next time I'm at Wagmore!
If anyone wants to come over for S'mores, I'll give you a call…

The first shipment of trees arrived.
These are the Excelsa cedars for the fence line screen.

Once the line was cleared, the hole digging began.  
The Husband and his post hole digger couldn't keep up with the trained crew.
It was a rainy day, so digging was a little sloppy, but the trees were well watered in.

Then the crew got to work putting the trees in.
The crew was vital to getting this done, we could NOT have done it on our own in a reasonable time frame.

The Husband used the tractor to move trees into place.

Here's a shot of the line of Excelsas all in place.  

But our Great Forest is not just Excelsas.
We've added other layers of trees to select areas, in anticipation of blocking site-lines.
The trees in front are Green Giants - another fast-growing evergreen. 

In other areas, we added even more depth.  
Here we have Incense Cedars, too.

Here's an "in The Great Forest" view.  
I'm so happy we were able to get such large trees for such a good price.
And I can't wait for them to grow!

We even added more trees to the screen we planted earlier.
This will help to build a more dense forest with a nice diversity of evergreen trees.

This one's a Deodar Cedar.  
It grows to be a tree with a lovely shape and a lot of appeal, 
so we planted them on the side of The Great Forest nearest the house.

And my favorite picture.
I think Mother Nature approves of the beginning of The Great Forest, too.

I'm so thankful that The Husband was able to get all this work done.  Thanks, too, to My Dad and My Brother for helping out during the weekend.  I feel a sense of relief and purpose that we're doing SOMETHING in advance of the potential Monstrosity next door.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wagmore Farm: How We Found Cheap Trees

In the last post, I talked about the trees we plan to plant in The Bloody Great Forest.  Since we need to find and plant more than 300 trees, and my last name isn’t Gates or Buffett, finding inexpensive sources of trees was paramount. 

I started with one of the helpful tree people who helped me evaluate options for the screen.  His business is based North of Seattle.  If you need trees and live up that way,  I highly recommend contacting him.  Unfortunately, the shipping would have been prohibitively high given the number of trees I need, so I had to find trees in and around Wagmore.  One would think that would be easy (it is in the Evergreen State afterall), but it took me a surprising long time…

All the trees we’re planting this time around I find via Craigslist.  I love Craigslist.  I found one grower and one large nursery who, together, provided us with nearly 150 trees.  Cheap.  Apparently one can get good deals on trees in the middle of winter.  Go figure.  We ended up paying between $25-$50 for 5' - 8' trees.  I am very happy with this!

The Husband is working on getting these trees in the ground.  I'll share more of his adventures in tree planting in the next few days, once I get an update.  In the spring, we'll stand back and take a look at the overall screen and try to imagine how it will look from the house.  I want to make sure we have a natural forest look from the house, backed by a thick-you-can't-see-anything-through-it screen.  This might mean buying more larger trees from the nurseries we've already worked with.

If our screen is in good shape, we'll likely fill in the rest of the forest with trees from the county foresters association seedling sale (the same place we got the our first lot of baby trees).  The babies require more tending for a few years, but they're a heck of a lot cheaper, and it's fun to watch them grow…

Here's an image my nephew created for me.  
It captures the impenetrable forest feel perfectly.
If I can't have Ents maybe I can have Flying Monkeys?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wagmore Farm: Trees! Bring Me Trees!

In my earlier post, I shared the reason I suddenly want to forest a good portion of Wagmore.  Once the decision to plant The Bloody Great Forest was made I entered what I shall now call "The Great Tree Quest."

The stuff to figure out includes:
1- What kind of trees work best for our needs
2 - Where to get affordable trees
3 - How to convince The Husband and My Dad to get the trees in the ground.

Step 1 - What Trees to Choose?

Clearly, a key decision.  We need trees that do well in the climate, grow quickly, remain full year round, and will grow together as a screen.

I, of course, started on the internet by searching for screen tree ideas.  Once I had enough information to be dangerous, I started to talk to people.  I learned that tree people really like to talk about trees (which is both unsurprising and lucky for me), that cedar trees make a great screen, and that cedar trees really like it in my part of Washington State (lucky me, again!).

One of these very helpful tree people has a very helpful website, with a great guide to screen trees.  This helped me decide that the Excelsa Cedar is the best screen tree for Wagmore.  We'll be putting these trees 6' off the fence line, spaced around 8' apart.  When the trees are mature they'll be very full and 30'-35' tall.  They also grow at about 2' a year once established, which will help us get a big screen quickly.

Since no Great Forest is made of just one type of tree, the second layer of trees will include Port Orford Cedars (which can reach 100' tall), Incense Cedars, and maybe some Western Red Cedars.  We'll place these in a second line, close together, and close to the other line of trees - to make our first line of defense very thick.

My goal is to create a dense, imposing forest.  Think Fangorn Forest from Lord of the Rings.  And I'd love some Ents, too.  But I realize that I'll likely have to settle for Corgis and Guinea Fowl as forest protection.

I want my screen to be this thick - and cedars will stay more full than these!
(many thanks to xedos4 / for use of the photo)

The next layers of trees will include Deodar Cedars, Hemlock, and various other evergreen and deciduous trees to make the Great Forest look natural.  Most of this layer of trees will be added in the spring - with more baby trees from the County seedling sale.

Overall, we anticipate adding 300+ more trees to Wagmore.  That's a lot of trees, so I'm continuing my quest to find them cheaply and get them in the ground.  More on that next time!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wagmore on Instagram!

Since The Husband is headed to Wagmore, I thought this was a good time to set up a Wagmore account on Instagram.  So if you'd like to see pictures of the Farm, just click the Instagram badge below, or in the right navigation bar.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wagmore Farm: A Bloody Great Forest

We recently had some very bad news relative to Wagmore Farm.  The 20 acre property next to us was sold to a group that plans to put up a very large building (about the size of a Kohl's department store) with an accompanying parking lot the size of a Walmart Superstore parking lot (enough to park more than 600 cars!).  And all of this will be within approximately 250' of  our house.

To say I was upset when I found out about this is an understatement.  I think I went through all the stages of grieving - maybe staying in the anger phase longer than most.  After all, I've dreamt about a property like this for as long as I can remember. The property is so peaceful - a really special place to be.

Now I've come to acceptance and we've tried to figure out what we can to do maintain the bucolic setting of our dream property - despite the monstrosity planned for next door.

We realize that there are a lot of hoops to be jumped through before anything of this size can be built, but I dread sitting by and doing nothing.  So now, with acceptance, has come a plan.

We've decided to move the location of our planned barns, and create a bloody great forest instead.

Here was our original tree plan and barn plan:

The blue ovals, purple line area, and red triangle are where we have planted our baby trees already.  

The blue rectangles near the bottom of the property indicate where we planned to put the barns.  

Knowing what we know now, here's the plan:

The orange area indicates (roughly) the area we plan to forest.  This also shows the general area we'll likely relocate the barns.

So instead of looking out our window and seeing what we see today - a lovely field that goes on for a long, long, time...

On this side of the second fence (the one in the back w/ the scrub trees in it) - we'll now see something like this:

Which is a WHOLE lot better than seeing something like this:

Now that I have a vision, it's time to plan, and I almost have a tree plan finalized.  I hope to have things nailed down later this week.  I'll let you know what I figure out.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...