So today we took down the last two of the evil cottonwood trees. The first one we took down in two parts. The first part fell on an old manure spreader we have.
The second part grazed the donkey shelter (fortunately we had moved the donkeys away first).
The second tree was more difficult. We knew it was going to be a problem, but I figured it is better to take it down in a somewhat controlled fashion than have it come down unexpectedly on people, animals and/or structures. So it came down on our greenhouse taking out the roof and a few of the windows.
It also took out my father’s old boat we had been using as a planter,
my container of thyme,
an old hot tub full of leeks,
and our large tomato hothouse.
Here is Tom fixing the roof of the greenhouse surrounded by debris.
And this is what our vegetable garden site looks like now.
We looked at one of the rounds of a cottonwood we took out earlier. It looks like it was twenty years old. In the first 5 years it had a 6 inch diameter. All the trees appear to the roughly the same age. They were all 150-200 feet tall. We bought this land in 2002, so 15 years ago when these trees were only 6 inches thick at the base. We should have taken care of this then.
So our advice to you is to kill evil cottonwoods and similar worthless trees now rather than waiting. The sheep do seem to enjoy using the cottonwood rounds though, so maybe they are not entirely worthless.
We have a long spring ahead of us!