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Old 01-04-2009, 01:46 PM   #21
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Regarding the dogs:
How about a shrub row of Firethorn: It's not a native but Cedar Waxwings and Mockingbirds don't seem to care, plus I doubt any creature would destroy it unless peeing on it killed it! Could always put in some kind of blackberry/dewberry/raspberry so the fruiting is better spread out and appealing to more than just birds. It is a sort of living brush pile and I've found everyfrom from toads to birds to rabbits hiding in thorny bushes.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:14 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doccat5 View Post
I doubt I can create one of these without a problem with our local county gov't. We live on a corner lot, so are rather exposed. Hmmm, how could be do one of those and camouflage it? I need to think about that a little. The neighbors already think we're crazy so that shouldn't be a problem.
Doccat ,

If you lay out your argument/justification in advance , I am sure that the county officals could be made to fold . Almost every states game and fish department lays out plans and the reasoning in favor of brush piles . With a few minutes of googling here is some I have found , some with pictures for those that such would aid ;

The state of Wisconsin with additional links to the state of Connetticut , department of resources and the National wildlife federation .

http://www.besmart.org/hazwaste/resi...rush_pile.html

I notice that you hail from Virginia ;

http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/habitat...rush-piles.asp

http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/habitat/brush-piles.pdf

With a few minutes searching you could bury them with documentation . A number of the links suggest much of what has been suggested here on this thread . Most game and fish departments have guides for native plantings suitable for attracting wildlife and check out native plant societies for your states .

No need to be sneaky about it . As Thelorax said "Just go for it . " Planting vines on the piles was/issuggested at many of the sites . Resulting in not only making it "pretty " but adding to making it desireable habitat . If one studies the links the/a brush pile can be slightly customized as to which creatures you may desire to host .
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:08 AM   #23
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The municipality nearby is NOT favorable to brush piles. Gets you a hefty fine. They equate wood piles, brush piles, and piles of solid trash together as habitats for vermin. Wood piles are allowed provided they are "neatly" stacked two feet off the ground.

Besides, the cute bunnies that shelter in one yard are the same evil vermin that decimate another's hard-wrought small veggie garden. People living so closely causes it's own set of problems. Communities find it hard to appease everyone, so often the squeaky ones get their way.

I believe - slowly - cities are changing their thinking. I know recently ours allowed "5 or less chickens" in city limits where before they were considered farm animals and (except for raised rabbits) forbidden. They don't include roosters in with hens because of the noise issue.

It's a long slow process. Baby steps for sure. Still, here and there in town, lawns - even front terraces - are being turned into flower or vegetable gardens. Better be kept neat though! We've got an infestation of little ladies with rulers measuring overly long grass and reporting it to the city fathers.

Once I had a taste of country life, it seeped into my pores and I hated the 4 years I had to live in town. Out here in the sticks, no one can see what I do. If they could, no one would care. I can do whatever I want to provide suitable habitat for the DNR's property. . . and everything but my dog is DNR property.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:34 AM   #24
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Thanks for those sites, lonediver. Hmm, I think I have an area that might work. A little planning and I may have it up and running and too "code". I need to talk to the nice neighbor, he might also be interested in doing this on the back of his property.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:21 AM   #25
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Thank goodness we live in such a rural area that rules about what you can do on your own property are few and far between. We now have two massive brush piles that anywhere else likely would result in a friendly visit from county/municipality officialdom. Among the few downsides is a neighbor who ignores the rather sensible ban on outside burning during times of high wildfire risk...
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:34 PM   #26
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Most cities I've read about harassing people were not interested in what's reasonable, and HOAs are, apparently, even more unreasonable. However, in a lot of cases no one ever launches a complaint process, I know in my case no one ever complained when I owned a house in the city limits. I just added a little at a time and did my best to hide anything that might be objectionable with a row of shrubs. I also had a corner lot, so I was exposed on all sides (no shrubs when I moved in at all). Of course all of my neighbors were probably violating some ordinance too (one guy had a dog that barked after 10pm, for example, and another neighbor would've had to redo his entire drive as it was slightly on my side of the survey line), so thankfully it never came down to a game of taddeling on each other because everyone would've been equally miserable.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:33 PM   #27
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My brush pile such as it is today . There was a party close by who cut a new road and they said I was welcome to any of the brush and trees that they dozed aside . This will give me the oppurtunity to construct it better a little more along the guidelines of some of the links I posted . The first pic is a liitle more than a pile of trimmings from trees I planted as I prune them . The second pic is a dead ironwood that someone allowed me to haul away . Between all three pics one should be able to see where I have dug a hole so as to " replant " the dead tree . The hole is adjacent to where the brush pile is located . Taking the brush pile vertical , I have selected a vine that in two years should grow up on and cover both , Antigonon leptopus .
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:45 AM   #28
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What mighty fine looking piles you have there young man! Those piles are something to be proud of and so is hauling a dead ironwood onto your property.
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:48 PM   #29
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Teehee! I am delighted that other people get as excited about piles of deadwood as I do.

Last winter I was going stir-crazy for lack of gardening. But I realized that for the first time since we moved in, the backyard wetland woods area was frozen and leaf-free, so I could walk in it without squelching and picking up ticks and getting into poison ivy and poison sumac. So I "cleaned up the woods" of deadfall, and made myself three brush piles. (And one of those brush piles was made largely out of the previous owners' Christmas trees, because aparently they saw the wetland as being useful only as Christmas tree disposal.)

The kicker was that I was pregnant at the time, so I was able to proudly tell my husband that I was nesting!
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:40 PM   #30
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This thread has reminded me that I need to go work on my brush pile. We recently had the last 100 feet of our property landscaped and in the process my brush pile has been rearranged. I need to get back out there and rebuild it. We live in a neighborhood with a HOA and I'm pretty sure if I were to ask them about the brush pile I would be told it was not permitted. So, I don't ask. Instead I have hidden it behind a couple of large trees that were already present on our property. The only way you can see it is when you are on the backmost part of our property and I'm hoping that it will escape notice in that location. So far, so good. I really like the idea of covering it with some type of a native vine and I think I'll be doing this as spring approaches.

We also recycled our christmas tree this year. After removing all the ornaments and tinsel I placed it in the backyard so that the birds have a place to roost on some of these colder nights we've been getting. Once the tree has gone through it's usefulness in it's present location we'll move it to our brushpile. I didn't know Walmart would give their trees away and evidently most of the local fisherman don't know it either. Every year we find christmas trees floating around in the reservoir behind our house that the fishermen have brought in for cover.
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