The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Homesteading short cuts

tree girdle close up

How to girdle a tree with a chainsawWe decided to cut down a few trees in a chicken pasture this week and realized there was no way to fall them without hurting the new fence.

Cutting away the bark in a complete circle should stop new growth next year.

I can't help but feeling as if we swept some dirt under a rug that will require more attention in the future.

Not sure how long it takes for a Box Elder to dry up and fall in a situation like this, but I'd say we bought ourselves 5 to 10 years.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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That will stop the top growth, but if you girdle it too high, I think box elders will send a mess of sprouts from below the cut. Those are pretty easy to deal with though.
Comment by Eric in Japan Fri Sep 23 19:08:53 2011

You sound like you're speaking from experience --- please tell us more! What kind of trees have you girdled, and how soon did they die?

Box-elders do indeed resprout prolifically, but I can pull the sprouts off with my bare hands if I catch them in the first year. The trees seem to die within a few years of having those sprouts yanked off regularly.

Comment by anna Fri Sep 23 19:12:25 2011

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