Let’s rethink cutting and chunking
Published: Thursday, August 29th, 2013
This week my crews responded to the tornadic winds that felled dozens of large trees along the Highway 16 corridor around Hill City. We bucked up and piled more than a dozen large trees on one property alone.
The fallen trees were not bug kills. They were heavy and the work was brutal on the steep slopes along the highway, but leaving the trees to burn or as safety hazards simply was not an option.
A number of companies have partnered to thin the forest near Paha Sapa Road and Highway 385 with power saws and skid steers with mulching heads. The work is breathtaking in effect. At the end of glorious days of tending to our great flocks of trees we can walk around the ground we cover and be satisfied that these few acres, at least, are fire and beetle-worthy, meaning they will survive either natural force.
It's been this way all year. In fact, the work just keeps coming. There are new developments in equipment that make it possible to turn whole trees into fine mulch good for holding moisture in the soil and recycling carbon, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous and all the good things that were there before.
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