We have been in denial for long enough.  Our shelter design has not worked the way it was meant to so we need to get tough. The design was based on alternating Italian Alders with various species of eucalyptus, oaks, wattles and cherries.  The problem is that the Alder’s did not get off to a good enough start in some cases to compete effectively with the very vigorous eucalyptus.  It seems that the only way to deal with this is to remove both the big eucs and the stunted or dead alders.  This is painful, but putting it off seems the worse option, so we have started felling trees that are thriving – to a fault. Best do it before the walnuts get much taller.

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The weekend has been productive, even if each of us was a little under par. B did major clean up in the garden clearing corn and pumpkin growth to make way for new plantings.  I got a much awaited large bin built to take invasive or diseased plant material not suitable for the compost, sprayed out the remaining walnut lines, mowed a couple of the walnut blocks and sawed up fallen shelter trees with brother-in-law for firewood. Barbara has done a full audit of the shelter trees so we can order and replant where trees have failed or are not thriving.

Our shelter planting is mainly eucalyptus species alternating with Italian Alders, and the Alders are not competing well with the euchs, so decisions need to be made.   Issues include how long to tolerate eucalyptus trees that are so vigorous that they out compete their neighbours and will eventually compete with the walnut crop.   Time for advice.