cutting back manuka

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10 years 2 weeks ago #32022 by 3 girls farming
I've been out cutting back manuka today... I feel like I've cleared acres and acres.. .but I can barely see the hole from the house... I cut it .. dragged it down the hill and made a big pile (so only one bit of grass gets killed off) and then cut more and more and dragged more and more and now I hurt.. more and more.. and I really feel like going to bed now..:( hopefully I'll see some more of a dent next time I get the energy to try it again.. ...

and to add insult to injury all the heifers stood in a row and looked at me .. with their big brown eyes while slowly chewing...... now .. if I could just train them to pick up the manuka in their mouths and drag down the hill to add to the pile!!!!![;)]

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428541 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic cutting back manuka
Do you feel like an ass? If so, we have plenty. They are very good at ringbarking manuka, and grazing the small plants. Then when they have died (the manuka), hitch the donkeys to the base of the trees and get them to bring the firewood back to the house :-).

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428542 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic cutting back manuka
Best firewood ever 3 girls. Hope you are not planning to burn it off in the paddock! So what is your plan for it?

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428550 by 3 girls farming
Replied by 3 girls farming on topic cutting back manuka
Longridge... I have a big enough ass as it is!!!!... oh.. whoops ... THAT kind of ass... I'd love one... pop one in the post please...

DiDi.... I must say I love the wood as firewood but I have no way of getting across the paddock (very VERY steep paddocks) and although me and the girls have carried some back to the house this lot is too far away from the house to make it possible.... I'll just leave it to rot.. terrible shame I know ... but there is some closer to the house that we can access.. it's the best thing ever for use in the coal range.. love it.. I'm just trying to get more grass area rather than just acres of manuka...

Maybe I need to hold a 'chainsaw party' and encourage people to come and masacre the scrub in exchange for a huge feed at the end of the day... hhhmmmmm.. any takers???

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428554 by Stu_R
Replied by Stu_R on topic cutting back manuka
yep count me in :)
3gf cooks well :)

5 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo,Sam and now Lenny) 15 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them :) , 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land :)

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428556 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic cutting back manuka
Hey Stu - you still got and using your fireplace? I think the chainsaw party is a brilliant idea if it means you can get some manuka AND get a feed. I bet you have more takes 3 girls as Manuka is the ultimate firewood in my opinion.

OK - here is a thought. I used to buy Manuka here in Auckland from an amazing guy and what I was getting was Manuka that had been sprayed off 6 years ago (way up north) and they were felling it and selling it. Seriously beautiful dry hot burning wood.

Just a thought, given I know you want some grass sooner than that - but is this not an option for what you are struggling to get at for the firewood people down your way. Worth looking in to surely as they sell at a premium and you may earn some dollars and everyone wins. Just a thought.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428564 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic cutting back manuka
We bulldozed 15 acres of the stuff about 8 years ago, and then set fire to it in big long rows. It made quite a sight and was visible from around 30km away, right across the Bay of Islands. People were phoning the local fire chief and he was not amused, even though we had a permit and had phoned him to let him know what we were doing.

As in 3GF's case, the hillsides we cleared were too steep to easily get at much of the stuff, although we did have a guy with a tractor come and take some out. Every season there are more than enough windfalls around our 135 acres to keep us in firewood for ever. Each time I get one lot cleaned up, something else blows down in another place. Right now I am enjoying the heat from some of that wood, and it's wonderful [^]

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428582 by 3 girls farming
Replied by 3 girls farming on topic cutting back manuka
I think once people realise how steep the property is they may go off the idea.. I think a lot will just be cut and left to rot.. can only get the stuff closest to the house and closest to a flat(ish) area so we can carry it out.. Oh to have a quad bike ... or a helicopter!!!!!!! even better!!

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428583 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic cutting back manuka
Depending on the terrain, I bring some of the firewood home with a trailer on our quad bike, or if it's not so steep I use a transport tray on the tractor. We couldn't survive without a grunty 4WD quad bike on this place.

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428587 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic cutting back manuka
If it's extremely steep, you won't grow much grass on it!

We have acres of scrub too, and every year another patch gets attacked, with stacked piles left to dry for a year before being brought in for firewood. At this moment a guy is out on one of our hillsides; he cuts now, stacks everything (the tops in big rows for burning) and comes back in the summer when the ground is dry, to collect the firewood which he then sells. I get free scrub clearing, he makes his income. There's enough left everywhere else for the rest of us.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428589 by 3 girls farming
Replied by 3 girls farming on topic cutting back manuka
amazingly I do get good grass growth on those hills so that's why I really need to get on top of the manuka before I have no grass left.. It was pretty lush in between the scrub so with a bit more sunlight it will do well..

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428591 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic cutting back manuka
I guess there's steep and steep! :D

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428605 by 3 girls farming
Replied by 3 girls farming on topic cutting back manuka
I really must figure out HOW steep it is one day.. I know that coming down I just sat down and slid most of the way down.. just need to avoid those stumps!!!!

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428627 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic cutting back manuka
Hope your land is not prone to erosion if you denude it. If the land is too steep to carry out the manuka, then be careful the hillside doesn't slip down into your living space.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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10 years 2 weeks ago #428669 by 3 girls farming
Replied by 3 girls farming on topic cutting back manuka
it was completely clear paddock when the property was bought but because of lack of stock it's become nothing but manuka... i think it will be ok to cut back again.. I'm intending to leave some of the large trees and anything that isn't manuka for shelter.. interesting that the largest area of slip on this property (this was during the floods in the Manawatu a few years back) was in a very thick area of bush that just disappeared... so I guess it depends on the land... this particular bank should be fine.. always has been.

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