Just a short thread on finishing cleanup activities at My Second Pond (excavated in My Second Pond: Groundbreaking
, with stocking planned in My Second Pond: Stocking Plan, Strategy, and Tactics
, and with structure created in My Second Pond: Structure
After finishing the dam and pond, my excavator left post-haste to work a wetlands abatement project for the state Dept of Transportation (I got the distinct impression there was completion date dependent money involved), which kept him tied up until the Fall rains reached central Ohio and got everything muddy and soft. This left some brushpile cleanup and fence row clearing activities uncompleted until this week, when the ground was frozen hard enough to bring the heavy equipment back in and work without tearing up any of our finish-graded and reseeded ground.
We were unwilling to have a major brushpile burn on this project due to 1) legal requirement for a burn to be at least 1000 feet from any dwelling, 2) a property width that is just under 1000 feet, 3) houses practically on the property line in the subdivision next door, and 4) 37 sets of neighbors living in said subdivision, some of whom turn us in for weenie roasts before the juice starts dripping out of the hotdogs. So instead, we used a combination of stashing the trees removed for excavation by the woods next to the pond and chipping the largest brushpile (because there just wasn't room to put it out of the way without dropping another big bunch of trees.
Here you can see the industrial chipper we rented, being fed by a small trackhoe and spitting out finger-sized pieces of mulch. This chipper has a 4 cylinder Cummins diesel engine and is the single loudest piece of equipment we have ever had on the farm. You could hear the chipper working from inside a running vehicle on our driveway or from the interior of our well-insulated house, both located over 1000 feet away. Once a tree trunk was placed in the chipper inlet, it is automatically advanced into the chipper at the rate at which it can be chewed up and spit out (IMHO a big improvement over smaller chippers, as seen in Fargo
We used the chipper to mulch limbs and trunks sized from about 2" up to about 12 inches. Smaller stuff and root balls were moved into a small pile next to the woods and the (>12" diameter) trunks which were too big to mulch were stockpiled to be cut into firewood (this stuff is mostly straight, branchless ash and red maple that splits beautifully). We spread the resulting mulch out over the brushpile area and the area next to it (where trackhoe treads lopped off the new grass with extreme prejudice) to prevent erosion, until it can all be seeded in grass to sprout next Spring. Before (long before, as you can tell by my short sleeves) and after pictures of the brushpile are shown below.
Here is an overall view of the pond in it's current state, frozen over and still about 3 to 3 1/2 feet short of full pool.