10830 Fairmount Road Newbury, Ohio 44065
Mon-Sat: 07:00 - 17:00
24 Jan 2017

The ins and outs of firewood

Have you noticed this new interest around town? Fireplaces. Local restaurants are extending the dining experience, taking it outdoors. Love the notion of people spending more time outside!

Sitting around fire finds it’s way to the backyard too. Free standing fire pits are portable and not a huge investment. With a little more space and permanence, a fireplace can be a great architectural focal point. New product lines make the fireplace install affordable and don’t require a concrete footer.

If not outside, perhaps it’s indoors where you’ll enjoy a wood burning fire this season. Consider the type of wood to burn. Seasoned firewood is aged for six months or more. Unseasoned wood doesn’t produce the same heat. Hardwoods such as Maple, Oak or Ash are best. Pine trees contain too much sap or pitch and are not appropriate for indoor burning. Though Ash wood is a great burning wood, it does have the potential problem of containing the Emerald Ash Borer. To help prevent the spread of the insect, many counties have quarantined Ash firewood, making it unlawful to transport Ash across county lines.  When purchasing firewood, your firewood delivery service should be aware of this restriction.

Did you know firewood sales are regulated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture? The standard unit measurement for firewood sales is a cord. A cord of wood is stacked parallel to each piece of wood, not criss-crossed. The area measures 4’ x 4’ x 8’ and equals 128 cubic feet. Often the term “rick” is used to identify half cords, but this is not a recognized or even legal unit of measurement. Wood can only be sold by the cord or fractions of a cord such as 1/2 cord or 1/4 cord. Technically, the bundles of wood outside retail stores, deliveries by the truckload, piles, or face cord are not using legitimate units.  Luckily, the firewood police do not make a big deal about this, but if you do order bulk firewood, you should be buying some portion of a cord.

So, when designing your backyard oasis. Consider, a fireplace or fire pit. A wood fire offers a wonderful gathering place for friends and family.

 

 

07 Apr 2016

Party Time for Moles & Voles

It's party time for moles and voles. I see lots of activity. Though moles spend the majority of their lives underground, they do leave visible mounds and tunnels as they burrow deep into the soil for food (mainly earthworms int he winter) and warmth. As early as last week, those all too familiar mounds of soil started showing up in lawn and bed areas. This kind of activity can be unsightly, disturb root systems, and cause considerable damage to lawns. Moles quickly multiply, so we best take control of the mole!

Seriously, corrective measures are the prudent thing to do. Traps and poisons are readily available at garden centers. They are quite effective and easy to use, but you'll need to know the best placement. Moles create meandering tunnels searching for food. Not all tunnels are reused. Additionally, when the food source is gone, they move on. This makes it difficult to know which run is active. An easy way to determine activity status is to flatten a mound or tunnel. If it's reopened within a couple of days, you'll know there's sufficient activity to place a trap.

Voles are another source of complaint in our landscape and considered to be more destructive than moles. To find food, voles burrow and eat the root system of a desired plant. They can also eat the bark at the base of any given plant. This compromises the vascular system directly under the bark. Plants will struggle, if not eventually die with this kind of abuse.

Not all winter pests come in ounce size trouble. Deer and cute little rabbits can cause havoc in the winter months. Rabbits can girdle plants by eating the bark around the trunk of a shrub or eat tender shoots on lower branches. Burning Bush is a favorite. Wrapping trunks and using deer and rabbit repellants are very effective, but need to be re-applied monthly. This is sometimes hard to do over the course of the winter.

This will be my last newsletter until spring. If any questions arise over the winter, I am here to help. In closing, I would like to wish you and your family happy holidays and an early spring!