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Life as a classroom

Part of the fun of homeschooling and particularly unschooling is that you are restricted to time tables and curriculums. Today we felled the big pine tree in our garden. It was really sad to have to cut it down but the pine needles make such a mess and the get into the gutters and clog the drains. The soil also gets very acidic from the pine needles. The tree was huge and very top heavy so the branches would become a problem in a few years as some naturally died and could potentially fall on the house. Alos not being an indigenous tree it uses a lot of water.

Does it sound like I am trying justify cutting down such an old beautiful tree? Well I guess I am. Caleb was in floods of tears this morning telling me that I have broken his heart becasue we are cutting down the tree. See what happens when you have little eco warriors for kids 🙂 But I assured him that we are going to replace the tree with an indigenous tree and that we are going to use all the wood.

We used a fantastic company KDB Tree Fellers Everyone from the admin and overseers to the workers and expert chain saw operators were friendly, efficient and hard working. I can recommend this team to anyone in Cape Town and they were not even nearly as expensive as I had been warned tree felling would be.

I took some pictures of our day from start to finish between Rachel and I we took a lot of pictures (503 to be exact)

There was the big pine tree and 3 lopsided conifers to start, you can see from the road sign how big the trees are. The middle tree of the corner set we are keeping and the Norfolk Pine in the middle of the grass.

It was rather a grey day, this is the pine tree, you can see Rachel standing there to give you an idea of scale
Pine Tree

First the 3 small lopsided conifers on the corner, we kept the one straight one.

There were 2 guys with chain saws up in the tree, they were trained riggers, the other worked on the ground to cut up the branches as these 2 cut them off from up the tree

Branches that had a risk of falling on the house were tied with rope and lowered down

The foreman asking them to cut some of the branches into half meter lengths for us to use

I asked if they could keep the pine cones for the kids, thinking that there were about 10 pine cones, well there were 20 bags full. They diligently picked off all the pine cones off every branch that was cut down and collected them for the kids

I will have to think of a lot of pine cone crafts

Pinklet girl watching


we wanted to keep the wood, some for fire wood and some for projects and plans we have for the house and things to make. This is the start of the log pile

Ringing the bark off the stump

Carrying logs

Caleb did not like the noise, Titus on the other hand napped longer that day than just about any other day ever 2 hours in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. He seems to like chainsaw and woodchipper noise

Smaller branches and pine needles were sent through the wood chipper and I will use them in the garden beds and on the veggie garden as mulch

The last part of the stump about to go down, guided with ropes away from the house

Final fall

All gone

Kids playing on final wood pile

3 thoughts on “Life as a classroom

  1. Wow – very impressive! What an exciting day for you all. Waiting with interest to see what you do with the wood (and 20 bags of pine cones!).

  2. exciting process to watch. Bet the birds are going to love all the pine cone peanut butter and seed feeders you will make lol

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