Tree Planting at Forest of the Stars

~ la fôret des étoiles

Tree Planting at Forest of the Stars

Here in the forest we try to disrupt the balance of nature as little as possible. Our firewood has come from our land immediately surrounding the house and, for the most part, it has come from dead trees. These have been either dead but standing, or dead and fallen, or branches blown down, or cut down and forgotten about. This last category actually supplied quite a quantity.

So far, we have not purchased any firewood. After 5 years at about 5 cubic metres of wood per year, that’s a lot of salvaged wood.

I have also cut down one or two live trees, but this was only to provide a bit more direct light towards the house. I have been lucky enough that a good quantity of the dead trees were large enough to be taken to the sawmill to be cut into planks for our own furniture as well as for various of my manufactured products.

So how does our little forest sustain this harvesting of firewood? Well, it can’t. Unless we replace what I have cut down. Before we arrived and started collecting firewood the forest tree-population was quite happy to live, produce seeds and saplings, die, and rot. I have broken that little cycle and reduced the “rot” part of it. Because I have been collecting dead standing trees, the character of the forest has been changed by the introduction of gaps in the canopy. This allows the forest floor to receive sunlight and permits various random plants to grow. I can make use of this space by controlling what grows there.

When we dug the area for the phyto-épuration system for the chalet, I up-rooted many seedling trees and re-planted them in an un-used and un-distrubed area. By doing this I would have a collection for re-planting once the weather was right (Autumn preferred). Unfortunately, the area chosen became hidden by leaf cover and those seedlings mostly died. No matter, they are as numerous as weeds.

There are no trees within “falling distance” of the house. Therefore, there is a large open space and seedlings grow freely there. Consequently, they are like weeds in the driveway! This is the tree stock that I use to re-populate open areas in the forest.

I have also used the seedlings to de-lineate boundaries, such as, along our giant fence and along the border between the “no-man’s land” section and our own land. This can be a bit of pot luck despite the much to-ing and fro-ing with full buckets of rain-water for the saplings; sometimes the trees look dead, but wait for the second season and there is a good chance that they were traumatised but still alive.

Kitchen Island

… it’s never wasted !

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