One part of our property is covered in an old apple tree orchard, which has gradually disappeared amid years of scrub growth. A fairly diverse range of mature eating and crab apple trees are situated on a lovely south-west facing hill where we have noticed a rather pleasant micro-climate; it’s the quietest, warmest spot on our land. It’s a thing worth saving, but the work ahead of us is huge, given that we can only work on it in our spare time, amongst 1001 other jobs.
This afternoon after lunch we set out to start rescuing one corner of the orchard.
At first, it’s a little daunting. Seriously, it’s been years since anyone tended to these trees, and in the intervening time the bases of the trees and the ground around them have become covered in thorny trees with absolutely no redeeming value. Our land is positively covered in nasty thorny bushes and trees in many parts, and it will take us years to eradicate them.
Nothing to do but pick up clippers or saw and get to work. A large spoil heap builds up in no time, and gradually the shape of the old trees underneath it all starts to emerge.
With so many sets of hands cutting and clipping, I often end up being the person who hauls what’s been cut to the pile, but my youngest decided to take over this job once some of the larger specimens had been cut down.
One of the bigger thorn trees to be taken down today was felled by my older son’s simple hand saw, which he acquired in his capacity as a Scout. It looked arduous to me, but he insisted it was the best tool for the job (for him!). I assisted with holding the tree as he neared the end of the cut.
The find of the day was an abandoned bird’s nest that had blue Easter ribbon incorporated into its design.
Next up: more cutting and a session with the burn barrel to finally get rid of everything we cut down today.