The arduous task of pruning the trees at Wakonda has been completed- at least what can be done from the ground using a telescoping chain saw. We started pruning between Christmas and New Year's and took advantage of every break in the weather to get on the course - see our blog from 12/30/2010. Nearly two months and 1,300 trees later we were finally finished on February 23rd. Once we were done much of the course mimicked the scene near the 13th tee.
As soon as we finished pruning we had an opportunity to start chipping. Since the snow had thawed and the ground was frozen hard we were able to drive our truck and chipper out on the course and chip the branches where they lay. This process was much more efficient than waiting for spring when the ground is too soft for a heavy chipper to drive throughout the rough. Under these conditions the chipper remains stationary and every branch must be cut to shorter length and transported to the chipper- much more time and labor.
Here is a picture of our rig hard at work. We are very fortunate to own a wood chipper.
We estimate that we filled our chip box 30 times. The work was hard- it took us 7 days of solid chipping from February 24 to March 4.
The end result puts us ahead of schedule for the arrival of our seasonal staff. We will pick up the large firewood size logs this week and when our staff arrives in April we will be hand- raking the small sticks strewn throughout the property.