Rick and I planned to spend our retirement clearing cedar on our place. It would have been quite an undertaking as we have so much of it and most of the cedars are pretty big. It takes a lot of work to cut one of the wide ones down. The ashe junipers we have here are not like the cedars east of us, growing with one main trunk. The growth habit of ours resembles a giant round bush. You have to fight your way in with a chain saw.
Needless to say, I can't do this with my little rechargeable Husqvarna chain saw! So I had to hire someone to do it. I've been waiting since February of last year for someone to come out. The big ranchers out here scoop up contractors and they don't let them go! We small acreage owners have to catch someone between big ranch jobs and I finally did.
It's a messy process. Unless you use one of the guys with the cedar mulchers the trees are dropped on the ground once they're cut. Some years back we talked to a cedar mulcher contractor. It was at least twice the cost of cutting and we weren't sure about the effects on the grass if the mulch was heavy. The main thing for us was the cost.
And while I love to burn brush piles, I can't do anything on this scale. I need some experienced ranch hands for this! One of my contractors, who is also a volunteer fire fighter, said he would come burn it for me next winter when the rainy season came back around. But that's kind of scary to me.
So I'm going to do what any sensible person would do and think about that later! I like things tidy so I'm sure it will drive me crazy. It takes 75 years for a cedar tree to rot so that's not going to help me any.
I walked around to check the fence line where the fella has finished cutting, making sure we didn't have any holes the Longhorns could get through. He left a buffer zone like I asked so we still have privacy and the wildlife have a place to hide. It was nice walking up under all the oaks where we weren't able to walk before. I turned Woodrow and Gus out on the side that's done. They jumped and ran and shook their horns! I'm sure they'll be exploring all night!
On another note, I finished my barn door for the bathroom! It was a learning process but I'm happy with how it came out. My neighbors came over to help me lift it into place and do some fine tuning on it. I made a handle out of one of Rick's belts. I think the door adds some character and some "weight" to the white painted room.
I made the door from all leftover materials and ordered the hardware online at http://www.barndoorshardware.com/
For those of you considering a project like my addition, the total cost came in at less than the price of a new pickup truck. This includes all the contractor payments and supplies but not my labor. It added 344 sq ft to my tiny cabin of 464 sq ft, making a total of 808 sq ft. I think I got my money's worth.