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Starting an Orchard in Vermont, Part Two: Clearing a Hillside

by Tara

Today, Tyler felled the last three trees we've been talking about removing for our hillside orchard. They were perfectly healthy, but they would shade our site more than we wanted. It was hard for me to let go of them, but if we didn't do the work today, it would be a lot harder to change our minds later, with all the fruit trees planted around them. So, we went for it, and spent most of the day limbing branches, bucking logs, and generally clearing up the resulting mess.

Tyler Chainsawing Tree Tyler

Despite my hesitance in letting go of those trees, once they were out of sight I was so happy I almost forgot they ever existed. Suddenly, our land felt spacious in a brand new way—open and sunny and full of bright blue sky. It's as if the true form of our homestead began to reveal itself when the third tree fell.

Tyler Tending a Brush Fire

A few years ago, this hillside was scrubby slope dotted with a handful of large trees, many small saplings, and loads of bushes. Now, it's finally becoming the orchard we dreamed it would be since ever since we laid eyes on it during our very first visit.


I can't believe how far we've come. Tomorrow, if all goes well, we should be able to plant all of our fruit trees!