Winter has come very early to Floyd this year. Most of November was much colder than usual. And over the past week or so it’s been just above freezing and raining and difficult to do much field or forest work. So what to do? Burn brush piles!

We had accumulated quite a few brush piles from clearing in the bottomland pasture. Mostly VA pine that doesn’t even pay to bring to a pulpmill, and the tops of the trees from which we were able to salvage sawable timber.

Brush Piles in Bottomland

Brush Piles in Bottomland

It’s a shame to have to burn them, but all of it predated the BullHog which could have turned much of it into mulch. It takes about 3 days to burn each of these piles, so they take pretty constant tending. It’s pretty dirty work, but is deeply satisfying to the pyromaniac in all of us, and at the end you have a neat little pile of nutrient-rich ash where once there was a big pile of debris. In the picture below, Biological Woodsman Jason Rutledge trades in 2 horse power for 40 horsepower. The Suffolk Punches were used for piling a lot of this up, but not for adding to it after it was already on fire!

Burn Pile

Burn Pile

Adding to a Burn Pile

Adding to a Burn Pile