Hey guys! Brian and Terry here with another installment in our Forest to Farm series here on Survival Dispatch. Today we are back out at the property starting to get ready for a driveway. We have a lot of stumps standing in our way of that project. So, we rented a Bobcat E32 mini excavator to dig them up.
If you ever attempt something like this, you’ll learn very quickly that each species of tree grows completely different from the other. Some have tap roots, others have top roots, and some have tap roots and top roots. Our property consists of mostly Loblolly Pines, Oak, Maple, Sweet Gum, and Poplar trees. It’s really amazing how much variation there is in their growth patterns. Loblolly Pines are often a large tap root, but the tree isn’t super strong when it’s young. So, you can dig around it and push/pull and it will lay over and/or break off down in the ground. When they get big, it’s a whole different animal that can be a real bear to work with.
Oaks are generally pretty stout, and even a tiny one can be a handful. But they aren’t that bad overall. It just takes some time.
Our maples generally haven’t been that bad. Some are a bear, but most are popping up on the sides of old trees that were cut years ago for a selective harvest, so they are pretty easy to tear out of the ground. The ones that have been a problem are the largest cluster of roots we’ve seen and you’ll be digging for a while to break them up enough to tear the stump free.
Sweet Gum trees are a complete nightmare, to say the least. They have a giant tap root that can sometimes split into two or three directions. On top of that, they are VERY rubbery and will bend and flex as you work on them. They will fight until the very last fiber is torn free. If there is a tree in close proximity, their roots will intermingle with that tree’s roots and then you are fighting two trees, haha. You end up digging a hole 3 or more times the size of the tree to get it out.
We hope you guys enjoyed this post and check back soon for our next installment. Next time we will be conserving the topsoil on our property before it all gets wiped out by big trucks and heavy equipment. Thanks for stopping by!