Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Unintended Consequences

A cedar punji highlighted here lurks, hungry for tractor blood...
A couple of months ago I "shredded" the property, meaning I rented a tractor and giant, slow moving, high torque mowing platform to drag behind it. (For some reason in the country you don't mow you shred, I don't know why. I suspect it has something to do with the popularity of "Shredded Wheat" cereal but that's pure speculation on my part.)

Anyway, I was advised to just mow right over the tops of little cedar trees in the way, anything smaller than about three inches in diameter. Sure enough the deck whacked right through them without much of a problem.

In walking the property the other day, though, I think I might've made a major mistake. Now all of these less-than-three-inch-diameter stumpes are sticking up out of the ground and, come next year, the grass is going to cover them up. When there were trees attached to them they were easy to spot -- aim the tractor at them and mow 'em down. But now they're going to be hidden, little Vietnam-style punji shafts just waiting to spike into and deflate my tractor tires.

I never had this problem in the city or suburbs, the plants there were very docile. Very few azaleas or rhododendrons lurk in the high grass, waiting to spring on your mower from hiding. Just one more way the country flora find to make your life difficult.


Denise said...

We did the same thing, except we used the chain saw on yaupon trees (sp??). Two years later, Rick was out there with the chain saw again, this time hacking those suckers off even with the ground. When that didn't work, he used a machete. There's something therapeutic about a machete. You could probably use it on the Roomba!

Jill Phenix Avila said...

down with cedar!! they are all evil even the seemingly peaceful fur trees.. They drink up all the ground water, they are not native and they make your skin itch when you get the so called leaves in your pants!! (long story.. Annie was there it happened to her too) stupid cedar!!!