Trees no Trees,Leaves no Leaves ?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by big rockpile, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    My wife and FIL both say I nuts.I'm wanting to have trees all around the house,with lots of Pines and Cedars throwed in.Mainly for our privacy,but also for shade and windbreak.

    Wife wants me to keep leaves raked up,I figure the leaves will be better for the Trees,less grass to mow.

    Now my FIL says I don't want this because we have Wildfires.Which I would think would be more problem with grass.What I'm thinking with leaves,rake or blow out a line,be down to bare,moist soil,set a back fire.

    Usually if we have a Fire the Forestry Department and Fire Department both show up.Last year at one time we had 3 Fire Departments show up.

    Ok you Guys your .02?

    big rockpile
     
  2. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate Supporter

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    I live under trees. The leaves are still down....

    Angie
     

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Pines can catch fire quickly. If you must have them, you might want to at least prune the lower branches. The spruce trees around the dwellings here I prune branches up to about 5'. This also helps snow move through without huge drifting where I don't want it. Where the smaller spruce are still growing, I cut grass short to help prevent fire hazards. Pine needles also fall to the ground and can be make for a very dry tinder box rather quickly.
     
  4. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    We have a number of large maples by the house and we are somewhat surrounded by forest. You are definately going to want to rake or blow the leaves off. Trust me on that. What will happen is that the leaves will mat up and make walking anywhere a mess. It will kill off the grass and then everything gets muddy.

    One option is to run over the leaves with a mulching lawnmower. This works pretty good as long as the leaves aren't too thick.

    As usual, just my 2 cents.... and yes, we like our trees!

    Mike
     
  5. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    We have lots of Red Oak & Pin Oak trees close to the house. There is probably a foot of leaves all over the yard now. As soon as those windy spring days get here, they will disappear. Don't know where they go, but they will be gone. It's a waste of time to rake them.
     
  6. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We always just mowed the leaves. Although there can sometimes be quite a heavy looking carpet, the leaves are mostly dry and chop up pretty well. With big trees, you'll have to mow twice or even three times, but it's a lot faster than raking and you don't need to move them. Once chopped up, they decompose pretty quickly.
     
  7. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When planting trees around the house, be careful not to get them close enough for the roots to effect your foundation or get in your sewer lines.
    I must admit it's hard to imagine that anyone would deliberately plant cedars. lol. Can you say allergies?
     
  8. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I always want trees around the house...saves on the heating/cooling bills. BUT...never a pine. They snap too easily to suit me. My sis had the top of one drop through her roof during a storm a year or so ago. She was grateful the top was bushy, as it stopped the stob end about two feet above her sleeping 12 year old son. He slept through the whole thing. Sis had every pine within reach of her house removed.

    As far as the leaves go...I like them, too.

    I have no experience with the wildfire situation, so can't comment there.

    Meg
     
  9. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

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    Our house surrounded by deciduous forest with a little tiny lawn space around it. (Soon to be torn up for gardens! :D ) LOTS of leaves. I couldn't leave them all - they were a foot deep and you couldn't walk anywhere. And they were very wet, starting to decompose and getting pretty rank smelling in the low spots. So I blew/raked a bunch of them to the edge of the woods. Left the rest of them - they'll decompose.

    I love the trees around the house - very private in the summer, but in the winter, I can see through the woods and see our neighbors all around us. Grrr... :yeeha: I want to plant a line of Canadian/Eastern Hemlocks along the property lines to block the view of them. That will keep my line of sight open to the edges of the property and keep those evergreens far enough away from the house to allay fears of fire hazards or damage to the house should one come down. The hemlocks can tolerate the shady conditions and will actually benefit from the pre-existing shelter the deciduous trees provide - they don't tolerate exposure well. Will use a more durable, sun-loving evergreen out around the edges of the pasture, but haven't decided exactly what yet.

    Unless we have a REALLY dry year, the threat of forest fires here is pretty low. Myself, I'd be more worried about a grass fire here than a forest fire. Not sure what things are like where you're at.

    Diana
     
  10. NativeRose

    NativeRose Texas Country Grandma

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    We have large post oak trees around the house. That bothers me sometimes during high winds. So I have lots of leaves. My hubby and I made four rings of horse wire about 5 ft. tall and 5 ft. across from some salvage wire. I have been layering leaves and horse manure in these for the last few days. Boy are my arms sore from raking. :) These compost rings will be ready for next years growing season. The leaves I don't get raked up me mow as compost for the yard. Our soil type needs as much compost matter as possible. We had a lot of small cedars growing on our place and moved them to line the property on one side and left some here and there because they are at least green in winter and for shelter for the birds.
     
  11. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Our country house is in the middle of the woods. Leaves at least a foot thick; but I have cleared an area around the house and made sure no tall trees can fall on it. And I always rake away the leaves from the house, since they're just a haven for bugs, scorpions, and the occassional snake come spring time.
     
  12. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We dont have many trees close to the house, but we're working on it. And yes, we are deliberately planting cedar trees as a barrier between us and the neighbor (who is quickly turning his place into a junk pile). We're also in the process of having 9,000 hardwoods planted on our 33 acre side pasture and three acres of road frontage so we have a barrier between the road and our homestead. Then we plan to put a gate on the driveway where it crosses a deep diversion ditch...no visual or driveable access to the house! WOOHOO!

    I love trees. This afternoon I'm going to my parents' house so I can attend a tree sale with my mom tomorrow at the State Forestry Service. Trees are $1 each and I'm taking $100!!! We don't plant trees close to the house or septic line and we don't rake leaves...that's what the wind is for and it stays pretty windy here. Trees are good for the environment...the more, the better!
     
  13. januaries

    januaries Well-Known Member

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    I live in the woods with lots of oaks and other hardwoods around. No yard, just trees and leaves. They shade my roof in the summer. I may put down a stone walk someday, but the mud doesn't seem to be a problem. Right around the house, the leaves get trodden into the ground and they don't pile up too deep. I like it sort of wild and natural like this, although sometimes I'd like to see a bit more green on the ground instead of just in the trees. I'm thinking of planting a groundcover in a couple of the more open spaces--ivy or thyme or something.
     
  14. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Januaries, please consider another plant besides ivy. Here in the east it is turning into our kudzu. It is an obnoxious non-native plant that many are trying to stop before it does any more damage. It can literally choke a wooded area.

    There are a lot of less invasive plants you might try depending on where you live. I'd much rather plant something I might use anyhow.
     
  15. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    BCR the Ivy you are talking about around here Goats are pretty good about controling it.

    I've been planting Shortleaf Pine on the North side of my house,fire doesn't run up them that bad.Now Cedars I do worry about them fire does run up them.There is a Blackjack Oak that I'm going to take out it will be leaning towards the house,has a few dead limbs in it.South and East sides of the house is mainly going to be White Oak and Hickory.West side I can't plant too much in there because of Power Lines,but where I can it will be White Oak,Norway Spruce not as close.

    Bad thing where I am I live on a ridge,if a fire gets going it like being on a Match Head,I have a couple draws that act like a flue,fire gets in them it really gets rolling.

    Most of the fires around her are Arson and the Law doesn't want to do anything with them.Lots of people say well the fires in Missouri aren't that bad but across the holler they were hot enough to kill every tree even the ones big enough for Saw Logs.

    big rockpile