I realized that i had never actually showed the whole process of planting the trees, just snips of the operation. So here we go from unloading the truck to the final tamp.
There is one fork attached to the bucket. It is offset so we can get closer to the tree we are picking up without damaging the ones next to it.
Some of the trees balls are over 550 lb. (as high as our scale went).
Unloading is one of my jobs. The Yellow Lab is Shelly the WunderDog. She is our supervisor and finder of old deer bones.
This is what a trailer of trees looks like. We get 24 trees to a load. After loading onto the trailer the nails that hold the burlap ball together must be removed. There are about a dozen nails in each ball and none of them come out easy.
After the trailer is loaded i switch tractors from the green JD to the blue New Holland and tow the trailer out to the field where Michael has drilled holes to plant the trees in.
Usually the trees are lifted off the trailer using a boom and 1200lb. wench that is mounted on the trailer, BUT this last truck load of trees has been so heavy we have needed to use a tractor to unload and get the tree into the hole.
This next series was taken from the drivers seat as i unloaded a tree. Is this dangerous???? YES!!!!! Are there moving mechanical parts that can easily crush human parts???? By all means!!!!!! We only go to this operation when there is a trained crew doing the planting. This afternoons crew was Richard, Michael, Me, and Will. We are all used to working near moving machinery or operating it.
Shelly the WunderDog keeps an eye on us.
SOOOO you're probably wondering how did Shelly the WunderDog get her name????? I gave her this because i always wonder where she finds the stuff she drags back, how she gets so dirty, where she finds enough water to be soaked, and today, where she found a pile of fox poop to roll in.....
On the other hand, she is one of the most lovable dogs around. She belongs to Richard and Dot (our real boss). Rumor has it that Dot has a touch of Dolittle and can talk to Shelly..... but that is just a rumor (i hope).
SOOO thanks for following this adventure. If you are on the Eastern Shore in the future, this preserve will be open to the public this summer. You can find directions at www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/natural_area_preserves then look for number 44 on the map, Mutton Hunk Fen.
If there are still questions i will answer them in another post.