ffj's early retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
mooretrees
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by mooretrees »

I did think it might be a paw paw, but doubted myself because of that one leaf with the indentation. I've been amazed at the variation of leaves that oaks can have. But, usually oaks are fairly leathery. Yep, plants are hard, but at least they stay still while you flip through you book or take a photo. That would be neat if it was a paw paw, our only truly native fruit. Time will show if it produces acorns or a different fruit. I've never eaten a pawpaw.

I've found that the best plant guides are older ones, works of love that focus on a small area. While the big guides are nice, the smaller more niche ones are more useful when you're really only concerned with your small territory. And of course, they'll usually have more drawings than photos.

OTCW
Posts: 430
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:55 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by OTCW »

Sorry to hear about your dog and your tree Jeff. Best of luck to your mother's recovery.

I lost five oaks in a storm four years ago. Four toppled and one snapped in half. My lot is in the city and was originally four lots but three are unbuildable due to a drainage structure/flood plain, so they are all just one lot now.

Anyway, the three oldest of the trees were massive. The company that cleaned all that up for me estimated 250 years old. I never measured circumference, but the diameter of the on that snapped was seven feet at its widest. They sawed it off at about ground level which is where I measured it. I hated losing those trees. And I paid a mighty sum to get that mess cleaned up.

McTrex
Posts: 161
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:35 am
Location: NL

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by McTrex »

Have you tried the PlantNet app? I have it on Ios, not sure if it’s also available on Android. That usually works pretty well for me. You take a photo and indicate what part of the plant or tree it is, like a leaf or flower and the app compares it to a database of photos.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6211
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am
Location: Clinton River Watershed

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I think it is pawpaw. Identification trick I just learned from the internet is that crushed leaf will smell like green pepper. An urban garden near mine had a bunch of them planted in rows in the sun where they did not do very well. Definitely meant to be under-story.

Kriegsspiel
Posts: 920
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:05 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Kriegsspiel »

I'm on team paw paw. There's one growing in a park near me and the leaves look similar.

ffj
Posts: 2229
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@OTCW

If this tree gets dropped I will definitely count the rings to establish an age. And thank you for the encouragement.


@all

I downloaded an app that analyses the picture (thanks McTrex) and it came back with one suggestion: Pawpaw
I hope its true and if it is true, I'll be on the lookout for others.

Sometime today I'll perform the green pepper crush test.

ffj
Posts: 2229
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

I performed the crush test and it does smell somewhat of green peppers. But I was also anticipating the smell so maybe it wasn't exactly what I smelled? ;)

I looked around for other pawpaw trees and found several that were fairly small like the picture. Surely there is a parent plant out there somewhere but I haven't found it yet.


Also called a sawmill owner/operator and he said no way on the tree. It's too big, his equipment won't handle something that large, and there was no guarantee the center was sound. The other reason was because it was oak and prices aren't high enough to take a risk.

The only people he knew that would tackle such a tree were the Amish and according to him they take a chainsaw and cut a groove the length of the trunk, pack it with gunpowder, and blow the tree in half. At least that is what he's heard, never witnessed. I think I'm out of luck on this one.

Interestingly, I also asked about hickory as I have a large hickory in a similar state. He said he quit selling hickory 10 years ago due to the low price on return which surprised me. He said walnut and cherry were his premium trees.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1350
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:31 pm
I was thinking about growing walnut trees
Will add cherry trees to the list then, hope my life is not a Chekhov play

George the original one
Posts: 5356
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by George the original one »

ffj wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:55 pm
The only people he knew that would tackle such a tree were the Amish and according to him they take a chainsaw and cut a groove the length of the trunk, pack it with gunpowder, and blow the tree in half. At least that is what he's heard, never witnessed. I think I'm out of luck on this one.
Couldn't find the one where a Brit builds his shed with materials from the property, but this will do:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vODXyUmkEoo

ffj
Posts: 2229
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@MI

I have a bunch of wild cherry trees on the property but they all have a tendency to grow erratically with crooked trunks. A few of them are large enough to harvest but most are young and almost shrublike and to me are a nuisance tree. I would assume that for profitability they would have to be trained to grow straight as I have yet to find one that isn't growing at a crazy angle. I often hear about Pennsylvania growing the best cherry trees and I wonder if they have a different species than mine that grow in a straight upward angle?

I also have quite a few black walnut trees growing about, one of which is somewhat large that I saved from some enormous grape vines, vines large enough that I needed to use a chainsaw to cut them. I had no idea it was a walnut until this spring when it leafed out, as last fall the grape vines completely smothered the entire tree.

My overall plan is to save the specimen trees and to start selectively culling the undesirable species or malformed trees, so that the ones that remain have the sunlight and room to remain healthy. There are so many trees that many of them are simply not healthy in their quest to survive, and I am about to start showing some tough love to my forest. I need a stump grinder, not so much for aesthetics but to prevent the stump from bushing back up. Locust, cherry, hedge apple, etc, are quite hard to kill by just cutting down the tree.


@George

I think I'm going to live with a huge standing trunk versus having to resort to blowing shit up. :D Maybe I can get someone to carve out an enormous Sasquatch out of it, now that would be neat, haha. Certainly a conversation piece. ;) Watching your linked video makes me think of the time someone thought it was a good idea to blow up a beached whale. Explosives make me nervous.

ffj
Posts: 2229
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

My seemingly never-ending job of working on my roof is starting to wear on me. It is just so damn hot that I can't work on it every day and when I do, it's only for a few hours before the heat beats me down. I'm still not sure how I ended up working on this thing in the two hottest months of the year but I'm getting close to finishing even with all of the delays. I'm really ready for it to be done so I can concentrate my efforts elsewhere.

My work now is putting the finishing touches on the roof concentrating on the transitions and flashing everything that has the potential to leak water and readying the exterior to accept siding. It can be quite challenging fitting these pieces hanging off of a rope or ladder, but I can't allow any water to infiltrate the house. If the weather were more accommodating this would be the fun part. But I just want it finished at this point.

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I am using flashing (metal shaped to slide under the siding), flashing tape, and foam inserts that serve as a barrier to wind, insects and water. These steps, in addition to the proper installation of the roof panels and house siding, will prevent any water from ever reaching the inside of the house. Metal roofs are typically guaranteed for about 40 years, so hopefully I will never have to climb this roof again after it is finished. I may not even be alive in 40 years.

While I abstain from the roofing, typically I will work on the plumbing. I've installed almost all of the venting and drain pipes so far which is more challenging than the supply lines, so I should be able to move quicker when I transition over to the positive side.

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I like plumbing, as well as electrical work. It's solving puzzles which I enjoy. My only concern is passing inspections, as I fear I may miss some requirement by code that I am unaware of its existence. I'm not worried about whether my systems will work, because I know they will, but I do worry about an inspector making me redo work because of trivial details. It would be nice to get a plumber to inspect my work before the guy that can deny me a pass inspection shows up.




My mother had her surgery to remove the cancer from her leg and she is doing well. The doctors are confident they removed all of the cancer cells and tomorrow she starts 3 weeks of physical therapy after which she will receive a couple of rounds of radiation. The physical therapy will be in-house at a care facility and not even my father will be allowed to visit at that point. These are weird times with the virus, and other than speaking on the phone, none of us are allowed any contact with her. You can't even send flowers, as the hospital will not accept delivery.

Anyway, the situation looks good at the moment and thanks everyone for your concern.

Igotgoals
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:18 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Igotgoals »

I'm glad your mom's surgery went well and the outlook is good.

You are moving along at a good speed on your house.
Your very attractive house.

ffj
Posts: 2229
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Thanks Igot

I am almost finished with the roof, praise god, and today installed all four exterior doors. It felt so good to not be working off of a ladder or rope. My wife helped with the doors, mainly helping me set them and holding them in place while I nailed them after establishing initial level and plumb.

And I have hired another Amish crew to install the siding, which is very beneficial to me as I can start focusing on the interior. They came and measured the job and I told them if they quote me a reasonable price then the job was theirs, and they did. The only hiccup is that they can't get to me until late September but that's o.k. as I have plenty of other work to perform.

As I am my own contractor, it's important to know what are realistic prices for material and labor and the siding question illustrates this really well. My first quote was $38,000 for material and labor and I calculated material to be about $13,000 in that case.

Now contrast that with my current bid for labor at $6800.00. We have chosen a different siding which will be cheaper than the $13,0000 but should come in at around $10,000 so I estimate around a $20,000 difference. Which is insane! I wonder how many people just write the check not knowing any better.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2945
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Riggerjack »

Perhaps look to the small hardwood mills. Easiest to find by searching "slab" in your local Craigslist. Some will have small portable mills, but others will have the big slabbing saws. Look for someone who is selling wide slabs.

I don't know how you feel about the challenge of moving logs with minimal equipment, but come alongs, rigging, and sleds work wonders. Just think of the projects you could make out of giant slabs once your shop is complete...

ffj
Posts: 2229
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@rigger

You ever use one of these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgpMg-kFq4g

We used to use them in the fire service to stabilize and/or flip vehicles that had crashed. It's pretty incredible that one guy with minimal effort can flip a car with one of these things.

They would be ideal for pulling large sections of tree out of the woods with minimal equipment. I walked the woods yesterday and started formulating a plan to remove not only the downed trees but some of the crowded ones also. The house takes precedent this year but once done, I plan on getting busy making these woods healthy.

ffj
Posts: 2229
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Lots of work being performed on the house but not a whole lot of physical evidence to show for it, mainly because design details are still being hashed out, such as selection of plumbing fixtures, design of the porches and landings, and final decision-making of siding details before we order.

I drew up the one side of the house that had me a bit perplexed, mainly because the two roof eaves are not the same height and it is by far our largest canvas or plane. My wife wants board and batten siding but for the two sides opposite each other we are going to have to go with horizontal siding part way up, and then we can transition to board and batten to tie it in to the front and back of the house. Mainly because of the roof eaves so that your eye isn't drawn to any unevenness.

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All of the transitions will be delineated with white trim board as well as the windows, doors, corners, and rakes.




All of the doors have been fine-tuned for plumb, level, and square for even reveals and smooth operation. Basically using wedges(shims) and nails/screws.

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After I put in my front door I noticed a major issue. Can you spot the problem?

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The jackasses who put the door together installed the door in the wrong jamb, which resulted in my blind controls ending up on the outside of the door. So anybody could walk up and open the blinds and peek inside if they wanted too. Haha. I can't believe I didn't catch this before I did all of that work.

I may just fix the problem myself rather that getting the company to send me another door. All I have to do is reinstall for a left hand swing and fix the holes in the jamb. We'll see what the company says.




Does anybody know what kind of weed this is? People around here call it Johnson grass. After my septic lines were dug and initially graded, this stuff took over. Notice it is taller than my scythe.

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It's all been cut by hand but I can't let this stuff get out of control. I can't mow with a machine yet as the ground is still too uneven as we are waiting for the dirt to settle before final grading but this weed is very aggressive. If anybody has some tips on how to get rid of it that would be great.



A lioness in the jungle. The cats follow me around now and watch, which can be quite picturesque at times.

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ertyu
Posts: 1182
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ertyu »

I was scrolling down, looking at pictures, thinking, "down with this boring grown-up stuff, where's yellowface..." and there was yellowface!

:lol:

Joke aside, that's a bummer about the door. I'd definitely contact the company, they will most likely sort it out. If I were them, I wouldn't want that door all over social media. And idk what that grass is called, but it certainly looks respectable.

ffj
Posts: 2229
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@ertyu

I'll have to take a picture of all three together for you. Even the male has warmed up to me which has been a surprise. I still remember them all as little spitfires that would hiss at me then run away.




It's been a busy week: The roof is complete except for the ridegecap, which I am purposefully waiting to finish as all of my anchors are up top and once I remove them up it is going to be very hard to get back on the roof. I still have to install a ventilation pipe through the top as well as insure the trim details are nice and tight after the siding is installed.

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We ordered the siding and trim for the house yesterday, which took some effort but it is done, and the bathtub and shower unit arrived at the house. We chose to go simple and bought one piece units solely for the ease of cleaning. We currently have nice tiled bathrooms that are pretty but are a pain in the ass to clean and the grout has to be sealed periodically. No more, simple is better for us at this point.

The front door issue is being handled by the lumber company we ordered it from and we'll see where that leads. The problem needs to be resolved before the siding guys show up and do their job.

The garage doors are still wrong. The guys finally received the replacement doors and when they came out to install them, the color was identical to the ones already installed. So much for hand-checking at the factory before shipping. So at this point they offered us half price on the entire job if we would keep the installed doors. Tempting, but they don't match, so we told the guys to order white doors which matches everything. The situation is becoming ridiculous.


My current focus is getting ready for the siding guys and that involves installing the ledgers for two of the decks/porches and pouring the concrete floors for the other two. My first step was to remove the temporary supports and install angled supports so the forms could be made.

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This weekend I will finish the forms and flash the back walls of the house. I just need to figure out some details first. I also need to order the permanent support beams that will go in after the concrete is poured.

I've decided to hire out this concrete pour as it has to look good, unlike the shop floor. :oops: I just don't have the skills to properly finish the concrete so I have reached out to find help and I think I may have found someone but not certain yet. It has become extremely hard to find quality help around here unless they charge you highly inflated prices, and even then there is no guarantee they can get to you. Material prices have gone up exponentially too and the other day my lumber guy said I dodged a bullet by building when I did, as not only would the cost have been much higher building now, but he couldn't have promised to even have the products in stock. They blame it on everybody being at home as well as the stimulus checks but I don't know.

horsewoman
Posts: 517
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by horsewoman »

The weed might be some kind of miscanthus! I'm not sure but it reminds me of it...

ffj
Posts: 2229
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@horsewoman

After your post I compared the miscanthus to "johnson grass" and I'm positive now that it is johnson grass. I had it in my head that johnson grass was just a local term but no, it's named after someone named Johnson.

Thanks for forcing me to figure that out. And I now have a new enemy. Not you, the grass.

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant- ... -grass.htm

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