We are still continuing clean up on the property. The lower fields are getting returned to dry land crops and the upper end is being grazed by our small herd of Katahdin haired sheep. We continue our battle with invasive weeds--spurge laurel is our major culprit--and are implementing our integrated pest management program.
We focus on encouraging beneficial insects, supplement with honey bee hives, and are actively removing dead, dying, and diseased trees. Education of the public is step two, as a less cultured tree allows for better air flow which reduces some fungal infestations. Our goal is zero pesticide use and minimal herbacide application. A benefit to this program is the honey the bees produce.
We planted 2600 trees in 2016 and plan to plant a similar number this coming year. This next year's plantings will be on higher ground, which should reduce the phytophera--root rot--problems we have had.