The three attachments to the Shindaiwa T230X got tested. The string it comes with does fine, and the 4-teeth blade is a
little faster and easier.
The chain saw is excellent for trimming branches and even for digging right into the deep grass. It does tend to get plugged
up with the grass, but not unbearably so. I had to pull gobs out after every few minutes of cutting grass, but did not have
to take it apart even once (until I got it home). I would hate to abuse a $700 tool, but the chain saw cuts a foot deep, whereas
the blade only goes in a few inches.
Here is what you can do in about 5 minutes of "chop and drop" with the chain saw attachment. The grass, even if never pulled
out of trees, will die and fade away. The brushy trees were chopped into foot long pieces and left.
"Clip and drip": To kill the stumps to prevent instant regrowth, I'm testing an eye drop bottle to apply straight
Roundup to the bark area (that is where the phloem tubes should take it down to kill the roots). (There are cypress roots
and knees everywhere. I think the big one on the left is cypress. I was careful not to get Roundup into the cypress roots.)
Even with "chop and drop" the thorn trees are still dragged over to the thorn tree pile. Those thorns will kill us if we
ever get back to the good old barefoot days. I have a hunger for some swamp-cooked kim chee hot dogs, and I think we will
see how that thorn wood burns in a cooking fire.
Here is a more historic trick about how
to get the trees into the proper shape for building. Now we are mostly seeing the good results of the earlier trimming. There
are still some small ones that need this early stage work.
(Cypress trees probably evolved in swamps, many of which
are just like ours: a layer of impenetrable rock with water and shallow bio-soil above it. In this situation the trees could
not get too tall too soon or they would die in the first big wind storm.)
Now we are on about round 4, but we still keep the idea of bigger and bigger
cones. (And now we are cutting off more of the bottom just to keep the grass out. If we had the luxury of weekly maintenance
we’d leave the bottom branches to help growth.)
Screening-wise we have done pretty well. There is a huge area off the main
lanai that in effect has a courtyard wall made of trees / grass. That is probably where we will have a BBQ fire when the weather
is right. (We need it to have rained enough to not have to put out grass fires with just a stick in our hands, but not so
much that the flood water is high enough to make it hard to keep the fire alive.)
Click to go on to next page, Status from 3-12-06.