This oak tree is both
literally and figuratively a windfall. Oaks are an extremely
handy genus, but we have few of them on our property, mostly because
oak trees like it high and dry and our property is low and wet.
So having a huge oak tumble down near our parking area set me to
pondering what's the best use for this quality wood.
My first thought was to
saw the trunk into boards. The trouble is that it's not worth
most sawyers' while to cut up a single trunk, no matter how tall and
straight it is. We could possibly do it ourself with the chainsaw
log mill, but that
procedure was slow as molasses, exhausting, and not very precise last
time we tried it.
Mark had the
permaculture suggestion of turning the oak into mushroom logs. "Shiitake"
literally means "oak mushroom," and even though the fungal species will
grow on other types of trees, they like oak best. I'm wondering
if inoculating the 28-foot-long main trunk with shiitakes wouldn't
result in harvests lasting a decade or longer (although we might get
sick of pounding in 1,400 plugs), or we could just cut logs from the
medium-sized limbs. Another option would be to try out maitakes (aka hen of the woods) on
the big root mass.
Finally, there's always
firewood. I suspect that even cutting up the "little" limbs that
aren't much use for anything else would keep us warm for a whole winter.
In the meantime, the raccoons (or maybe foxes?) have already marked the
trunk as their own, and I can't help thinking the water-filled root pit
will be perfect habitat for the frogs who have just started to
call. It will be intriguing to see how this disturbed area
changes over the years.
The Avian Aqua Miser is a POOP-free chicken
waterer, perfect for chicks, laying hens, broilers, and more.
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