The Log Cabin

Monday, August 2, 2010

Log Cabin Landscaping - The Trees

Our log cabin property is on the end of a Blue Ridge Mountain ridge in Georgia. It overlooks another ridge nearby as well as more mountains in the distance. The property is sloped and runs to the bottom of the ridge. It’s currently wooded with a combination of evergreens and deciduous trees. A few of these are dead standing while others are fallen. The still standing will be cut down and all of them will be cut up. A number of the remaining live trees will also need to be cut down and roots removed to accommodate the log cabin. We will strike a balance between creating views of our beautiful mountain surroundings and preserving the natural beauty of the existing environment.  In any case, there will be plenty of firewood for the log cabin fireplace.

Once the log cabin has been built, it will be time to do some landscaping and rejuvenate the tree population. The first step is to do some research and develop a list of trees that are already on the property and others that are native to the area as well. Choosing native plants will maximize the likelihood of their ongoing growth and long term survival. I’m sure that one or more local nurseries is a good place to start the research.

Average winter temperatures, moisture, level of sunlight, soil pH are all considerations to your tree selection. Using temperature as an example, Georgia includess 5 different plant hardiness zones as illustrated by the following map.

Each zone varies in average annual low temperature by five degrees. The USDA website provides a list of the coldest recommended zone for a multitude of plants and trees.

Although I love the colorful fall foliage produced by deciduous trees, I will focus on planting evergreens. They will require a number of years to reach a decent height but that’s OK. I once planted six inch blue spruce seedlings on my property in Connecticut and when I last saw them after a five year absence, they were about five feet tall. I will keep the new trees spread out around 10 feet apart. There is nothing worse to me than the tall evergreens now on my log cabin property that have no pine needles below the very top due to lack of sunlight caused by the density of the trees.

My objective will be to ultimately enhance the natural beauty of my mountain property. Besides the rustic look of my log cabin, trees will help provide that enhancement.

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