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Old 01-06-2009, 01:19 AM   #1
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Default Dead wood plantings .

In the north American Wildlife forum Thelorax started a thread on habitat brush piles which I do here . Something else that I do is what I call dead wood plantings . I have transplanted a number of dead trees and saguaro skeletons for different wildlife gardening purposes .

Let me start with this one which was/is to be my raptor "bird perch ". This project was started on October 16, 2008 . This is an ancient Ironwood tree which I got permission to remove . It stands nearly 25 feet tall and I desire to move it in one piece without the use of any heavy equipment other than a chain saw , trailer , shovels , chains and come-a-longs . My friend Josue standing by it as we start in the first pic . Second pic we have started digging , 3rd , 4th and 5th pic look at the roots we have exposed . I had wanted to retain some of the roots for when it was to be replanted to provide for better anchoring .

I am sure some are asking why go after a dead tree . My observation of raptor birds is usually they seek out high stark perches to give themselves a good vantage point to shop for thier meals . One I saw in a tree recently , part of the upper branches were live and leafy , part of it dead . The hawk chose to sit in the dead portion . A little reasoning to this I would think likely is that if it had chosen to sit in the live side , the leaves would have obstructed its vision . So I wanted a natural looking tall bird perch to at least occassionally attract raptors to my property . As you can see , the project was undertaken .
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:29 AM   #2
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We had started this back on October 16th . Did not get back to it until December 1st . It is now on the trailer as you can see . Do you believe it . That is one large chunk of wood . Likely weighing somewhere between 3 to 4,000 pounds . A VERY HEAVY dense wood , for you easteners think oak . It has not been easy so far and we are not done yet .

What came down is now about to go back up .
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:41 AM   #3
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That's a treasure you've got there! Way to go lonediver! It's quite impressive. What species will be attracted to it?

Only at a site like this will people truly appreciate what you are doing.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:56 AM   #4
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Having gotten it home I could not wait to get it up . This is the morning of December 2nd . Sizeable hole is dug down to about a 5 foot depth , sloping down to the bottom on two sides . Theory being that as we drag it into the hole the heavy roots/base will partially cantilever the tree up .

The wrestling match commences !
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:01 AM   #5
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How did you raise it? Did you pour any concrete around the base?
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:02 AM   #6
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GRUNT , up , Grunt , wheeze , up , up arrggggghhhhhhhhhhhh and away !
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:09 AM   #7
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You're kidding aren't you? You hoisted that up just the two of you> ???

What happens when you tear open your shirt? Does like the S emblem show. I would have shown my support for the tree raising by sitting in a lawn chair and cheering you on.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:26 AM   #8
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That is soooooooo cool! And what a great job you did of walking us through the process with your explanations and photos! I'd love to see another photo with a bird atop the dead tree.

What you did is very creative!

BooBooBearBecky
p.s. We have an ironwood table and it took 4 hulking males to lift it!
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:31 AM   #9
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Dec 3rd , I got my transit rod out . It now stands 21 1/2 feet to the top . 15 and 18 feet are the medium branches that the raptors are likely to sit .

Thelorax ,

No concrete was poured , the soil was saturated with water to form a thick mud as it was back filled . One reason I went to the trouble of digging the roots out was to provide for better anchoring once it was in place . It was set some 2 1/2 to 3 feet lower reerected then it was taken out . The heavy base/weight was concentrated ito the hole when it was slid in . Chains , come-a-longs were attached to the upper portion of the tree with the other ends attached to anything close by that could act as an opposing dead-man anchor and then winched up with the assistance of an automobile jack in the hole to push where needed as the winch pulled . Does this explanation make sense to you ?


Ain't it puuuuurrrrty ?

So far I have seen the shadow and call of an owl in the night but was not able to identify it in the dark . Likely a barn owl . In the daytime I have seen both red-tailed and coopers hawk sit in my new " bird perch " .

So my efforts have succeeded as hoped .

Am I allowed to take a bow ?

Edited to add ;

There were three involved in the raising in this majestic old tree . And yes , I strive to do what " can't be done " .
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:40 AM   #10
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Default A few more dead wood plantings

Number 1 and 2 pic is same planting , a short dead tree and a saguaro skeleton paired together . Hacienda creeper and honeysuckle both are planted at the base to clamber over it as a living sculture .

I like to think of these plantings as ;

1 . Living sculture

2. Vertical brushpile

3. Natural arbor for vines .


Number 3 pic was a tree that had broken in half unfortunately but it had the plus that it had a number of hollows in the trunk for some cavity nester or another . When searching for dead trees to put up vertically my criteria at this point after learrning from a few mistakes is to make sure that it is a hardwood . Softwoods will break down too fast to make the effort worth the trouble . A real plus if it has some hollows . Being picky will pay off .

# 4 . I have started rubber vine on .

# 5 . Is to be left horizontal on the ground , has a lot of insect bore holes in it , insects feed birds .
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