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5 Acres and 3000 Trees to be planted: What would you do?

Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
There is a program in my province that provides trees for 15 cents each. I've just met with a consultant about it today and it sounds like a great thing to be a part of.

I'd like to pick the collective brain of permies.com to see what kind of a plan you would come up with from the information below...

GENERAL PROGRAM INFO

The program requires a minimum of 5 acres and 3000 trees, which means that each tree would be 8 feet apart if spaced evenly, which doesn't have to be the case. The property itself is 100 acres with 70 workable. At 15 cents per tree plus taxes its about $500-$600. I could plant up to 4500 or so trees but money is at a minimum, and also thats getting a bit too dense in terms of planting space for my liking, though it could have advantages.

An agreement must be made that I won't do any cutting of the trees for 15 years. The consultant told me that this is more of a general rule simply meant to keep people from selling 5-10 year old trees as nursery stock or christmas trees on a large scale. He then said that in reality some trees will have to come out for various reasons and at that point, why not sell them or do as you wish with them. So there is some flexibility there but I'm not yet sure how much.

The site preparation and planting is subsidized and my choices of method are furrowing with a tractor, or spraying with vinegar (this took some convincing on my part).

We at the farm here will be doing the vegetation control and could even get paid for it through the subsidy. As long at the methods work and meet approval anything goes really. My impression is that its a requirement that the planting area be relatively free of vegetation which eliminates food forest gardening (stupid, IMO) but I proposed seeding with a ground cover of white clover and this was alright with the consultant. The site I'm thinking of is in zone 4/5 anyways so I think I can deal with that.

The site itself is pretty flat, sandy loam, with a somewhat high groundwater level, though I'm not sure how high as I've only seen the land in the fall and winter.

As far as planting patterns, they are open to ideas about interplanting and staying away from straight rows, as long as it doesn't interfere with vegetation control. So I'm thinking of planting in sun traps or wavy lines at least but am open to suggestion.


Species List: (If you want scientific names I'll dig em up)


SPECIES AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE BUT ALREADY PRESENT IN GREAT NUMBERS ON THE PROPERTY

white Ash
eastern white cedar
poplar
beech
red osier dogwood

The following lists are available as well, and there are few to none of these on the property (There are a handful of mature sugar maple, willow and black cherry which could self seed so maybe I don't need to buy these?)

CONIFERS

white spruce
black spruce
white pine
red pine

DECIDUOUS BUSHES

highbush cranberry
nannyberry
red osier dogwood

DECIDUOUS TREES

green ash
sugar maple
red maple
silver maple
black walnut
basswood
black cherry
black locust
willow



So I open the floor. What would you do in my situation?


http://www.greenshireecofarms.com
Zone 5a in Central Ontario, Canada
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
My desires for yields are all over the place (building materials, long term high quality timber, nuts, sap (walnut, maple), berries (from the cran and nanberries) But this is not the limit. The main one would be the high quality timber products for my retirement fund. Screw pension plans...
samiam kephart


Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Posts: 39
I have a few questions  It sounds like a great thing to help reforest the land.Is the land in hay now?  Are they stopping you from allowing the natural progression to a food forest?obviously the bushes can be the understory and the spacing could be planned so it does become  food forest. A few veggies planted among the clover wouldn't hurt I imagine. If you use a tractor and plant in the swales you make ,the whole thing will get off to a better start even if your land is flat....but 5 acres is a lot to keyline.Could you mulch with cardboard and straw around the seedlings? I imagine a crew with forks loosening the soil followed by the planters followed by the mulchers ... would it be a spring or fall planting? excuse my ramblings  If you could get the tractor to make raised beds and furrows the high water table might be so much of a problem. sorry for my ramblings... Sam
TCLynx Hatfield


Joined: May 03, 2009
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
I have helped some friends with tree planting and some of the mowing/weeding that go along with establishing such a stand of trees.

Is the subsidy enough to support you as you through the summer for the first several years while you spend several days a week cutting the weeds back from the trees and the mowing they will expect?  This can be very time consuming.

I'm thinking that with all the restrictions that come with this, the subsidy would have to be substantial.  Around here it costs a lot to buy 5 acres, I'm not sure I would be willing to devote that much to growing trees for the government.  (Yea perhaps these will be your trees in the future but until you fulfill the requirements/restrictions, you might as well be growing them for someone else.)  It isn't like you will be able to do much else with that part of the property for a long time if you have trees aprox every 8 feet.


TCLynx
[url]http://www.tclynx.com/[/url]
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Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
I appreciate the questions. This is all helping me think it through, consider other angles, and get a more complete picture of the whole deal.

samiam wrote:
Is the land in hay now?   Are they stopping you from allowing the natural progression to a food forest?obviously the bushes can be the understory and the spacing could be planned so it does become  food forest


The land was in hay but is now 'gone wild' with a mix of hay, black eyed susan aka yellow coneflower, and other wildflowers and grasses.

From the sounds of my first meeting, they want to stop the natural succession, in favour of keeping everything orderly and 'controlled', yes. Which makes me wary of the whole process. The consultant seems like he's got a fairly new-school attitude but he says that most in the program are pretty old guard and conservative about their forestry. It does sound like we can play with the spacing a bit.

samiam wrote:
A few veggies planted among the clover wouldn't hurt I imagine. If you use a tractor and plant in the swales you make ,the whole thing will get off to a better start even if your land is flat....but 5 acres is a lot to keyline


I'm not sure how those that run the program would be with me planting veggies among the clover. I never thought to bring that up. besides, the spot I'm thinking of is the furthest field from the house so I'm not sure I'd want to put a lot of veggies way out there. I could see it working though, especially if the area has already been prepped.

I thought you need a bulldozer or shovel to make swales, or does a furrow count as a mini swale? I thought they were quite different in size. Do you think that even on flat land it is more beneficial to do a one-time tilling and furrowing in already loose soil than to leave the soil structure intact and just plant after a vinegar application?

You mention keyline plowing but I'd be willing to bet its a standard plow that he'd be using. Keylines are rare around here, if there even are any.

samiam wrote:
Could you mulch with cardboard and straw around the seedlings? I imagine a crew with forks loosening the soil followed by the planters followed by the mulchers ... would it be a spring or fall planting?


I could use cardboard or straw, and the consultant has mentioned that he could provide woodchips at no cost to us for use as mulch. He's already dumped three truckloads for our zone 1 veggie gardens. I was thinking of using chips as much as possible, and then having a cardboard 'tractor' to keep un-chipped areas in check and moving that around periodically, filling the bare areas with chips when they become available.


Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
TCLynx wrote:
Is the subsidy enough to support you as you through the summer for the first several years while you spend several days a week cutting the weeds back from the trees and the mowing they will expect?  This can be very time consuming.


I'm hoping that the maintenance will be quite minimal compared to mowing/hand-weeding and will largely be taken care of with either a clover planting, cardboarding, woodchip mulching, or some combination of those techniques. I could also bust out the scythe if need be. Maybe this is naive of me?

TCLynx wrote:
Around here it costs a lot to buy 5 acres, I'm not sure I would be willing to devote that much to growing trees for the government.  (Yea perhaps these will be your trees in the future but until you fulfill the requirements/restrictions, you might as well be growing them for someone else.)  It isn't like you will be able to do much else with that part of the property for a long time if you have trees aprox every 8 feet.


The property is 100 acres, with 70 or so being workable meadows, so I think in terms of what you mention above, we can afford to have the 5 acres set aside for this. I like the idea of having lots of species that'll mature when I'm at retirement age, which could fetch a pretty penny if in good shape.
TCLynx Hatfield


Joined: May 03, 2009
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
Ok I suppose with 100 acres, you could afford to forest 5 of them using said subsidy.  However, do a little more research into how they usually deal with controlling the vegetation and how much labor is involved.  When dealing with larger tracts of land where you have to keep the weeds at bay till the trees get big, I think it may be a little more than minimal, moving some cardboard on occasion.  Free wood chips are great but be ware that they will make mowing even more difficult if it comes to that.  5 acres is a lot to "mow" by whatever means and doing it without cutting down little seedling trees can be a real challenge.  Of course the difficulty will vary depending on what your local "weeds" are like.

My experience was in Western New York State on a christmas tree farm planted in an old pasture.  The weeds were pretty hearty certain times of year and unwrapping bind weed from seedlings can cutting away the other weeds from near the trees was time consuming.  Clover might make a really great ground cover but it won't necessarily block all weeds and the vinegar will probably only kill what is growing at the time it is sprayed.  (Is there any issue with planting clover into ground that has been sprayed with vinegar?)
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
Through the subsidy I do have the option of handing the vegetation control over to the consultant and not have to pay a dime so if worse came to worse, that route could be taken. The subsidy would cover roughly $200 so I'd rather do the work myself and recoup 30% of the tree cost. There are 12 members of my farm plus extended family, so I'm confident that between us and interns, we could take care of the vegetation control.

Normal industry practice is to use *shudders* roundup or symizine herbicide sprays but the guy I talked to is willing to give the vinegar a chance.

And as for planting clover in vinegar, I'm not too sure how it'd fair but from what I've read, the vinegar leaches easily with one or two rainfalls and breaks down into useable nitrogen and water. I read a study that compared roundup and vinegar with a tomato planting and the tomatoes in the vinegar bed faired better than the round up, and the weed killing results were on par.

TCLynx Hatfield


Joined: May 03, 2009
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
For pre-planting application I expect that the vinegar is what I would choose.  And if letting the gov guy do it means letting them spray herbicides on my property, then I would choose the manual methods.  And it sounds like you have a fair number of people there to divide the labor (I didn't realize that you had so many there.)  The tree farm I was helping with was just the couple that owned the farm and me helping out briefly.  They disk cultivated the pasture before planting.  They did not use any herbicides.  The weeds were terrible.  They mowed between rows and used hand sheers around the trees last I knew.  The nettles were the worst thing to come into when not paying attention when doing the hand sheering around the seedlings.  I think cardboard and mulch between and around seedlings in the rows is a good idea and if there is an appropriate mower on property, make the space between rows mower width or some easy overlapping multiple of mower width.  If you make things too curvy, it gets quite complex to mow unless you can be certain you will never have to resort to mowing.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Is a winter-killed cover crop an option?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGGoiQbeXFw


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Paul Cereghino
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Joined: Jan 11, 2010
Posts: 839
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
    
  12
Don't know how dry your summer is but competition for water in pasture with outplanted bareroot seedlings can be fierce.  Controlling competing veg during establishment may be wise.  Tillage prior to planting also increases you planting rate dramatically.

I think that some cropping ending with a winter kill covercrop sounds like a dandy idea!

Weed fabric strips is an expensive alternative, but can be reused on other sites until it degrades.

Row planting allows for mechanical mowing between rows.  You better have good scythe skills to mow 5 acres.. and a smooth surface, and prompt cutting before it starts to lodge is really important for efficient scythe work. If you plant in rows, scythe work can be reserved for between mow strips.

With good site prep spot mulch could work, but I'd overdo the mulch so it lasts you 2 years.  I agree with the risks mentioned above.

Consider risk of vole damage... protection can add $1.50USD per plant but can be critical in some areas.

Ask if you are required to maintain a survival or replant, several of the US programs require the owner to commit to a specified level of survival... important to accurately determine who is bearing what risk.







Paul Cereghino- Stewardship Institute
Maritime Temperate Coniferous Rainforest - Mild Wet Winter, Dry Summer
samiam kephart


Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Posts: 39
I like the idea of starting with a winter killed crop,,, summer rye or peas or a mixture.... after the land is tilled raised beds could be done in rows by hand but maybe that would not be practical on the scale your talking about... shovel out paths so you get double topsoil where you plant the trees ...  nettle is a pain but it is a sign about the state of the land and can be a treasure.I have discovered here in New zealand there is a lot of comfrey on this farm and it seems to help out fruit trees and figs if planted as a companion.I would plant comfrey after the trees are big enough and if it helps them grow then take little cuttings and plant it under all the trees.comfrey is a very strong plant so you have to be sure......Here in New Zealand they plant acrs of pine trees which grow faster than in the states. After 15 years or so they harvest all the trees then herbcide it leaving acres of black dying vegetation. Everytime I drive past there I  wrack my brain as to how I would restore this disaster if I could. I have to say the wild things like nettle and comfrey would be at the top of my list along with fungi and minerals. back to your question I feel like the comfrey won't work for your situation having to keep the area clean but I thought it important to mention.We need to come up with practical ways to do large projects.... so often we are dealing in permaculture with half an acre which can also be a full time project
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
8 feet sounds like awfully close spacing, but I guess that would make them straight, desirable in a timber tree for sure.  I'm be too scared of "the man" to invite their trees onto my place, but that's me and my insanity.  I feel like there has to be a catch.  Maybe even a catch-22.

Scything near trees can be difficult, I usually start up against the trunk and swing away from it in a counter-clockwise spiral.  But then when you get far enough away from the trunk you have to start mowing clockwise or you're constantly tossing stuff onto the next swath to be cut.  I guess you could keep weed pressure down with mulch in rings around the trunk and just have the paths to worry about (like Paul C said....)  It is something to consider though, scything five acres free of all obstructions is infinitely faster than scything around 3000 baby trees.

Awesome about the free delivered wood chips!  What if you passed the wood chips through an animal winter bedding area and got them all nice and poopy before using them as mulch in the new orchard?

I tried to read the whole thread, forgive me if I missed something and am redundant:

How many decades are they really going to send some body out to look at your place?  Seems like the gov official said the watchful eye might get lax in a few decades?  Could you cut half of the trees in 20 years so the remainders can get really big?  Is there a fine or something if they all die or you cut some too soon? 
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
a cardboard 'tractor' to keep un-chipped areas in check and moving that around periodically, filling the bare areas with chips when they become available.


Another option is to use something sturdier, like wood or sheet steel.

If you keep a small patch of land in the dark for the right amount of time, the population of invertibrates under it will be at a maximum, and chickens can be pulsed into it for a few hours before it goes back under cover.

I imagine a chicken-plus-grasshopper (or whatever crawly thing nature chooses) tractor along those lines would be a lot more thorough, work a lot faster, and be more humane than the confinement chicken tractors that I've read about.
Paul Cereghino
volunteer

Joined: Jan 11, 2010
Posts: 839
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
    
  12
marina phillips wrote:
I'm be too scared of "the man" to invite their trees onto my place, but that's me and my insanity. 


A contract is a contract... rule by law can suck but it is pretty straight forward.  Just knuckle down and read the fine print.

If they are not looking for a block, consider putting your 5 acres in some kind of shelterbelt pattern for wind management.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14169
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Hmmmm .....  I think I would rather get the seeds of exactly what i want.  I would probably have the seeds for far more trees and exactly the stuff I want.  Plus I would get to have the tap root on the trees (transplanting kills the taproot).  Just plant five times more seeds than you would if you were transplanting trees.

Next, is the land sloped?  How cold does it get?  What is the soil like? 

I would think I would want to get an idea for the whole property and what I would want to do with it. 

I usually want lots of ponds, terrace the land and hugelkultur.  I would want an animal proof hedge around the border and I would want to load the area between terraces with lots of trees.

Oh yeah - and then you don't have to worry about the government getting weird about things.




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Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
Is a winter-killed cover crop an option?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGGoiQbeXFw


Not if we're going to plant this year, (I'm having doubts about that due to tight finances) but I could see it being possible if we wait til 2011 to plant.
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
TCLynx wrote:
And if letting the gov guy do it means letting them spray herbicides on my property, then I would choose the manual methods.  And it sounds like you have a fair number of people there to divide the labor (I didn't realize that you had so many there.)


Synthetic herbicides are out of the question, no matter what. It boggles my mind that such poisons are still acceptable and worse, recommended as the standard.  
TCLynx wrote:
I think cardboard and mulch between and around seedlings in the rows is a good idea and if there is an appropriate mower on property, make the space between rows mower width or some easy overlapping multiple of mower width.
 

I hope we can avoid the need for mowing by sowing a cover crop between the rows, and ideally between each tree as well. I've been reading David Jackes' Edible Forest  Gardens and its really making my head spin about this whole deal. Especially when he talks about the importance of functional and structural diversity and its benefit over row-on-row stands. I wonder how they'd react if I proposed planting cuttings of shrubs and certain trees that would be purely there for chop n drop, bringing logs and rocks in, and digging pits to mimic a more naturalized forest.

TCLynx wrote:
If you make things too curvy, it gets quite complex to mow unless you can be certain you will never have to resort to mowing.


By curvy I'm thinking of the diagrams in mollisons books where he has large scale plantings in slightly curved lines instead of straight rows, or his arched 'suntraps'. I just could not bare looking at straight rows of trees, and being able to see clear down several hundred feet of row to the other end.
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
samiam wrote:
I like the idea of starting with a winter killed crop,,, summer rye or peas or a mixture.... after the land is tilled raised beds could be done in rows by hand but maybe that would not be practical on the scale your talking about... shovel out paths so you get double topsoil where you plant the trees ....comfrey is a very strong plant so you have to be sure......We need to come up with practical ways to do large projects.... so often we are dealing in permaculture with half an acre which can also be a full time project


Would I be able to plant a winterkill crop without having to do an extra tilling to prep the ground? I'd really like to avoid tilling if at all possible.

And on a 5 acre scale, I don't think its practical to shovel raised beds. We've got vegetable gardens and raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry patches to make this year as well.

I love comfrey but I'm not so sure about unleashing it on this land. I think I'd rather go with some similar plants that are native (eg. yellow/bur/curly dock, evening primrose)
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
Another option is to use something sturdier, like wood or sheet steel.

If you keep a small patch of land in the dark for the right amount of time, the population of invertibrates under it will be at a maximum, and chickens can be pulsed into it for a few hours before it goes back under cover.

I imagine a chicken-plus-grasshopper (or whatever crawly thing nature chooses) tractor along those lines would be a lot more thorough, work a lot faster, and be more humane than the confinement chicken tractors that I've read about.


I just don't know where I'd get that much steel or wood. Cardboard is plentiful round these parts. I estimate that I've got several thousand square feet of cardboard and am getting a few hundred square feet each week.

We don't have chickens but would like to get some possibly. I'm confused by what you say...how is your chicken tractor more humane than the ones you've read about?

We've got some pot bellied pigs which I'd like to incorporate as veg-munchers. I'm just wondering how we could set things up so the trees are safe. Electric fencing could be tricky and I dunno if I could muster 3000 individual tree cages. 
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
marina phillips wrote:
8 feet sounds like awfully close spacing, but I guess that would make them straight, desirable in a timber tree for sure.  I'm be too scared of "the man" to invite their trees onto my place, but that's me and my insanity.  I feel like there has to be a catch.  Maybe even a catch-22.


I'll be looking for the fine print but I've got a trusted friend who's part of a nearby conservation authority and she vouches for the program.

marina phillips wrote:
Scything near trees can be difficult.  I guess you could keep weed pressure down with mulch in rings around the trunk and just have the paths to worry about (like Paul C said....)


I'm feeling very back-and-forth about this whole plan. One second I'm thinking ground covers, the next I'm thinking woodchips and cardboard and then...

I wonder if they'd let me put cardboard rings around the base of the trees and then let the other areas alone, to be planted purely by nature. Then I could go in with a scythe and speed up succession.

marina phillips wrote:
Awesome about the free delivered wood chips!  What if you passed the wood chips through an animal winter bedding area and got them all nice and poopy before using them as mulch in the new orchard?


I feel so blessed that we have all these free resources. Theres a farm down the road who apparently has two dumptruck-loads worth of aged horse manure that we can take, plus a pile of pure vegetable compost!

The only penned animals we have are two pot-bellied pigs. They only poop in a couple of spots so it'd be a long time and a lot of work to get them to innoculate the woodchips.

marina phillips wrote:
How many decades are they really going to send some body out to look at your place?  Seems like the gov official said the watchful eye might get lax in a few decades?  Could you cut half of the trees in 20 years so the remainders can get really big?  Is there a fine or something if they all die or you cut some too soon? 


I have to find that out for sure. When he came to visit, the consultant only talked about two years of follow up weed maintenance. And the agreement is that I can't cut any trees down for 15 years. After that, the trees are the landowners, to do with as they wish. If they die, or become hazard trees, or affect the health of nearby trees (get too crowded etc.) we can thin them out. And its a private firm that handles the follow up, not the government so I have hope for this program.
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
Paul Cereghino wrote:
If they are not looking for a block, consider putting your 5 acres in some kind of shelterbelt pattern for wind management.


I was given the impression that a single block is preferred but that there is some leeway there. He mentioned that if say for example that the plot of land I chose was not 5 acres, we could fill that plot, and then plant the rest in other places eg. a windbreak.
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
paul wheaton wrote:
Hmmmm .....  I think I would rather get the seeds of exactly what i want.  I would probably have the seeds for far more trees and exactly the stuff I want.  Plus I would get to have the tap root on the trees (transplanting kills the taproot).   Just plant five times more seeds than you would if you were transplanting trees.


We have so much acreage here that I feel comfortable setting 5 aside for something like this program (as long as it all gels with what we at the farm want)

In other areas I'd like to try what you mention above, for the reasons you mention.

paul wheaton wrote:
Next, is the land sloped?  How cold does it get?  What is the soil like?
 

The slope is almost non-existent, slightly to the southeast if I remember correctly. It gets freakin cold up here in Canada...I don't know ferenheit though. The soil is generally sandy loam in that area. The grasses and other plants were very robust. I haven't had the soil tested yet so I can't speak of the npk, micronutrient, or mineral content.
   

paul wheaton wrote:
I would think I would want to get an idea for the whole property and what I would want to do with it.

I usually want lots of ponds, terrace the land and hugelkultur...an animal proof hedge around the border... to load the area between terraces with lots of trees.

We've got a fairly good general idea of what we want to do with the property, and the spot where this planting would go is relatively in keeping with this plan. It the most out of the way hay field that we have, and it would back onto the north edge of an existing hardwood forest, with mature shelterbelts on either side of it. My first instinct when I saw the aerial photo was that this area should be returned to a largely if not fully native forest. And then I was informed of this 15 cents per tree program.

paul wheaton wrote:
Oh yeah - and then you don't have to worry about the government getting weird about things.


Well, the way the government here is, they're gonna get weird no matter what, but I know what you mean. We'll be in bed with them on this project for a decade and a half...
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Travis Philp wrote:
I just don't know where I'd get that much steel or wood. Cardboard is plentiful round these parts. I estimate that I've got several thousand square feet of cardboard and am getting a few hundred square feet each week.

We don't have chickens but would like to get some possibly. I'm confused by what you say...how is your chicken tractor more humane than the ones you've read about?

We've got some pot bellied pigs which I'd like to incorporate as veg-munchers. I'm just wondering how we could set things up so the trees are safe. Electric fencing could be tricky and I dunno if I could muster 3000 individual tree cages. 


My thought was definitely to scrounge the tin roof and/or siding from a building set for demolition, or similar. Not to look for acres of it, just enough to prep land ahead of planting.

It would be more humane because the animals would have access to all of the square footage covered by sheet material, for an enclosure many times the area of fresh vegetation that they are clearing. And rather than living on a caked mat of droppings, each piece of sheet material would be flipped regularly, allowing manure to be cleared by soil organisms without interference from animals above. It might even be possible to add straw bedding on top of the sheets without interfering with the works, though I'm not certain.

It would also be more humane because toxic/unpalatable plants could be shaded out and eaten by smaller creatures, freeing the farmer to move the animals to greener pasture sooner and/or stock less intensely, for a given thoroughness of clearing.

Lastly, frequent turning-over of sheet material would be enriching, allowing them to eat fresh bugs much more frequently than if they were to wait for the enclosure to move.

Having said all of that, it is possible that you haven't understood because the idea makes no sense. If that's so, I apologize.

The cardboard and woodchips sound like a very good idea independent of what I suggested. It might cover what the trees do not once this tractor system moves on, and would be of help in controlling vegetation with any other method, or alone.

I think pigs could be tremendously useful. Others here have used them to clear land: I imagine if you can get some small, tasty, deep-growing root vegetables established even sparsely over the five acres, letting them root it all up might be a simple way to initially clear the land. Species that grow particularly deep, or repeated burying of small amounts of pig feed in the same spot, might also be used to prep individual tree sites. But I have heard confining them isn't always straightforward, as you mentioned.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14169
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
When you get into these relationships with the gub'mint, you often start off with a rather brilliant person that can explain everything and provide excellent info.  And then that person moves on to a more awesome job.  It seems the void is often filled by and angry, ignorant bureaucrat who seems to have so much time on his hands that he has nothing better to do than to make your life hell.  And, by wandering onto your property all the time, this same bureaucrat can spot all sorts of things that need to be investigated at your expense. 

There are many people that have become involved with these gub'mint relationships that are very happy.  And then there are the folks that regret their choice. 

Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
paul wheaton wrote:
When you get into these relationships with the gub'mint, you often start off with a rather brilliant person that can explain everything and provide excellent info.  And then that person moves on to a more awesome job.  It seems the void is often filled by and angry, ignorant bureaucrat who seems to have so much time on his hands that he has nothing better to do than to make your life hell.  And, by wandering onto your property all the time, this same bureaucrat can spot all sorts of things that need to be investigated at your expense. 


So you're saying I should plant the opium field on the other side of the property?

As I understand it, this guy I've been talking to is the only one who would be coming on to the property, unless there was some very extenuating circumstance. He is charged with responsibility for oversight and making sure that the contract is being honoured. So my impression is that the government is a silent partner in the deal. Though I will do some more prying into this. I'm thinking I'll ask my friend in the conservation authority world if she could put me in contact with any landowners who've been a part of the program for several years.

There are many people that have become involved with these gub'mint relationships that are very happy.  And then there are the folks that regret their choice. 


Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Travis Philp wrote:
Would I be able to plant a winterkill crop without having to do an extra tilling to prep the ground? I'd really like to avoid tilling if at all possible.


Possibly. I understand the usual way is to sow a week or so in advance, wait until the current vegetation is flowering, and cut or knock down the taller plants in a way that doesn't harm the seedlings.
tc20852 Hatfield


Joined: Apr 04, 2009
Posts: 24
Here is my 2c worth.

from what you say this is a subsidy based around a state tax break? but you need a official forestry planting plan from the extension agent?

Usually when discussing the plan you will be encouraged to express the reasons for wishing to do the planting and what your goals are. I think you might find talking about permaculture a non-starter. Try telling them you want to develop for mixed woodland good for hunting (Ha! that will get you buckets more understanding). No, really....just about anything you would want to include for a permaculture setup will be valid for encouraging wildlife and sport. You know....tasty looking white tail, quail, duck and foraging permies.

As for the planting techniques. Have you ever tried planting up 5 acres by hand? Yeah it can be done. I did about a single acre 3 years ago...and I only had a weekend to do it. The land is nearly all clay hard pan. Good exercise. I had to give up on the planting iron an use a mattock to chisel a hole for each seedling. It was a good thing they were pine tubelings and not those bare-root, 3ft suckers.

Honestly, you are not going to get enough mulch to do all the trees. You are not going to get enough sheet steel to smother the weeds. Best is to get a tractor in, turn it over, then use a planter. Don't do straight lines make 'em wavey, as this will give it a much more natural look.  You might plant most of it with a simple mix of species that the extension agent/forestry dude suggests but go back in and hand plant in some choice "islands" of high value species. Spend your efforts on these high value groupings and let the rest fend for themselves.

My experience may not be as applicable to your situation perhaps. My land once was tobacco/cotton but perhaps around the 60's got planted up with loblollies. These and the sweetgum got logged maybe 8 years ago, we bought the clearcut moonscape perhaps 4 years ago. Interestingly the succession took a while to get going. Even after the first 4 years, at the time we first saw the land, there were not many annuals around. We started planting at that time, here and there. Three years ago I had 1 acre cleared and planted up LL pine (trying for a savanna ecosystem). Fast forward 4 years and a lot of the sweetgum is regenerating from root sprouts. Loblollies and white oak following behind. Blackberry has taken over and , although its making the place unsightly, I have noticed some of my chestnuts growing through the briars. Considering the numbers of deer in the area, this may be a good thing (and a lot cheaper than chickenwire guards).

What i am saying...is that I didn't get much competition from annuals in the first few years because the site was clearcut. Your land has been in grass, so the seed bank will be biased towards annuals. These will be more of a problem I think. First year is critical. Spend time on your high value species.

Thomas

Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    2
tc20852 wrote:
Here is my 2c worth.

from what you say this is a subsidy based around a state tax break? but you need a official forestry planting plan from the extension agent?



You are basically correct yet. I pay a fraction of the trees actual cost, and in fact the more planting and aftercare I do myself, the more money I get back from what I paid because the agent would otherwise have to pay a crew to do it, so he may as well pay the owner instead. The plan does need to go through the agent, yes. But this guy seems very open to going outside the norm.

tc20852 wrote:
Here is my 2c worth.

Usually when discussing the plan you will be encouraged to express the reasons for wishing to do the planting and what your goals are. I think you might find talking about permaculture a non-starter. Try telling them you want to develop for mixed woodland good for hunting (Ha! that will get you buckets more understanding). No, really....just about anything you would want to include for a permaculture setup will be valid for encouraging wildlife and sport. You know....tasty looking white tail, quail, duck and foraging permies.



I've mentioned to him that I would like to have a mixed planting, and stray away from row on row grid plantings. He was willing to explore that route and even had a few suggestions. I do want to have good spacing for timber development but nothing too ridgid.

tc20852 wrote:
Here is my 2c worth.

As for the planting techniques. Have you ever tried planting up 5 acres by hand? Yeah it can be done. I did about a single acre 3 years ago...and I only had a weekend to do it. The land is nearly all clay hard pan. Good exercise. I had to give up on the planting iron an use a mattock to chisel a hole for each seedling. It was a good thing they were pine tubelings and not those bare-root, 3ft suckers.


The soil in the prospective planting area is high in sand content and is pretty easy to dig into. I'm not saying its going to be easy, but I was able to dig a hole 3.5 foott deep with ease. I've got ties with the nearby natural resources college and could get a sizeable amount of volunteers. I know that there are a high percentage of students at that school with treeplanting experience. Plus there are  several of us owning the farm which will make for lighter work. We also have interns to aid in the planting as well.




tc20852 wrote:

Honestly, you are not going to get enough mulch to do all the trees. You are not going to get enough sheet steel to smother the weeds. Best is to get a tractor in, turn it over, then use a planter. Don't do straight lines make 'em wavey, as this will give it a much more natural look.  You might plant most of it with a simple mix of species that the extension agent/forestry dude suggests but go back in and hand plant in some choice "islands" of high value species. Spend your efforts on these high value groupings and let the rest fend for themselves.


I have enough cardboard to cover just under 1/3 of an acre, and lots of woodchips from tree prouning operations which can be dumped right at the edge of the planting. I've also got a newspaper drive going at the college and am collecting lots of that for mulch. I have accesss to free old hay bales, and we have several round bales of old hay on the farm from the previous owner. Between all of us we could scythe or weedwhack what we don't mulch



rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
You mentioned alternatives to comfrey, what about a alternatives to comfrey forum?
 
If you put down a lot of mulch you could grow mushrooms, toadstools etc. and they would bring yo in some money look up paul stamets book. If you have just started growing toadstools you will want to whatch them to learn their ways, not somthing you want to do in the furthest corner of your land. 

Trees in straight rows can be lovely you get bars  crossed by horizontal bars, the earth, sky, tops of the trees. I used to drive past a plantation of poplars, it looked like and abstract painting that always changed.

  On hens, there were a few years when my family in law did not go to the country and the hens of some neighbors spent a lot of time in their garden and these hens  did for all ground cover in the garden. Put in a cage over the whole area and have free range hens there and you should not have any vegetation at the bottom of the trees at all, the hens will do for it all. Do you have foxes or eagles? I don't know if hens  affect the trees. I once heard you can cross hens and pheasants which would make a slightly more hardy hen maybe.
  Why do the government want to give away trees? If you understand why people want things you will understand what you are  up against.

  You ask if anyone imagines you could want to  grow opium when Paul Wheaton mentions not wanting government authorities on your land. Aren't there lots of other things that could be illegal like returning the curves to streams or putting in berms and swales and such that might be a good thing and might not but that could be illegal. There are no advances without people experimenting. Peter Andrews slowed up his water courses and created wet lands and the result was a reduction in salts though no one seems to know why, so he played with the legal, which seems to have also been the empty farming conventions and his bets turned out to be good ones. His idea was that the pools and wetlands were the livers and kidneys of the land and his restoration of land maybe dried to get more land to use has reduced the salt level so he seems to be right about livers an dkidneys .
      In europe the authorities don't approve of people mixing different species of animals which is the tradititional agriculure in some parts, like on Dehesas here. I have seen a variety of animals in dutch feilds, my parents lived there for a few years. This means the loss of lots of positive ways of farming. In dehesas here in spain where you might have horses cows pigs and sheep  the horses eat grasses that the sheep and cows won't eat so keeping them down naturally, a traditional bit of spanish farming which saved people the temptation of using herbicides to keep unwanted grasses at bay. I imagine that a permaculturist might want to do a little bit of civil disobedience in this matter too.
      If you wait a year you will have sorted out what you mean to do to keep weeds down. It is hard to work out the ins and outs of something new in a mounth or two. if you grew mushroooms or had hens among the trees you might want to chose five acres nearer the house.
    If the government want more trees around, then if you took trees out and sold them it would favour their project.
     Maybe they want to lower pensions so they want to make sure you get maximum benefits from your trees and they would not grow straight enough for timber if you started selling them off their trees too early. agri rose macaskie.
Birdman McCoy


Joined: Mar 13, 2010
Posts: 94
Location: Colorado
a few years ago I planted about 10+or- miles of trees spaced from 6 to 16 feet depending on the type and area,  they were put in for wind protection, for the fields, I use a tree planter and then used land scape fabric, 6 foot wide as a mulch. the fabric was buried on the edges and pined at every tree.

it was a lot of work at that using machines and the mulch layer,  I made both the tree planter and the mulch machine,  yes if a natural mulch could be used, it would be nice, some of this was done in the driest year they said we have had in 600 years, (tree ring data) , we had 2" of rain during the growing season that year, 4" for the entire year, (they were done over a few year period.
I had about 99% survival rate on the trees with the fabric mulch,  trees were mostly juniper and various shrubs,

I had a few trees left over and went to another location and planted but had ran out of the fabric mulch,  and in that 100 yards of trees  I had about a 90% loss with out the mulch,

the first few years I was able to have a number of teen kids  come out and help me weed around the trees where they exited out of the fabric mulch, I think we weeded for two years  once a year. 
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Birdman wrote:I made both the tree planter and the mulch machine


Oh, cool! Did you document the builds?

I'd like to see how that is done. Maybe a new thread on that topic?
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
  what about a list of the more valuable trees for wood? rose
Birdman McCoy


Joined: Mar 13, 2010
Posts: 94
Location: Colorado
in some instances, one has to work and just find trees that will grow in a region,  at least at first, as some do to the wind or water conditions will not allow tree to actually grow with out much help,

now some times you get some growing and some micro climates you can get other that would have no chance of survival to grow,  I was given a few seedlings trees that grew up in a flower bed from a near by town  I planted them out here and watered them but the conditions of wind and other, they were dieing I dug them back up and transplanted them back in the same town where they came up and they thrived,  I think that now I am getting some wind break I may get them growing,

many of the trees that we can grow back east are considered weeds,  I meet a old guy in his 80's about 40 years ago,  a little north of me and moved out here in the early part of 1900's  from Missouri and brought a load of walnut trees to plant on his homestead.
he keep many of them alive but in the 60 years they had been growing they were about 15 foot tall and about 6 to 8 inches at the trunk,

IMO it is nice to have a list of tree that are desired, but first you have get them to grown.

most consider lumber hard woods as valuable, but most need to trained to grow correctly for Valuable lumber, and it will take a life time for them to become valuable,
fruit and nut trees by many would be consider valuable,
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
   bird man just a few thoughts on the themes you have bought up.
I like the idea of kindly returning the trees that didnot do well on your land to were they did do well though i wonder does some tree just have to be the one that stands up to the winds to make a wind break so yyou should be unkind and leave the tree their though it grows badly.
  It is fun thinking what trees will grow in bad conditions. Maybe some are valuable. I think there is maybe a secret market for the sabina albar, the juniper thurifera so it is probably a valuable tree and it is very hardy a pioneer tree on the tops of mountains. It grows at high altitudes above the pine line in meditreanean mountains and it grows above the cedar lines too,  cedar trees the cedrus atlanticas  also grow aobve the pines in Marrocco, so- the jumiprtus thurifera that grows higher up the mountains than all these other trees so is a very hardy tree great exposition to the suns rays and mounths of cold in bad soils like in the mountains of Marrocco, so a tree with an ecological foot hold other trees don't have and a maybe pricey tree if the wood is marketed secretley which i judge it is  from the questions i get asked or the shiftyness i have observed when talking of it so maybe valuable if just for rarity value .
      This tree was used for beams in all the houses in the parishes were it grows and was used in roman bridges and has not rotted yet, so it should be valuable in poor areas where everything usefull is welcomed, as construction material i imagine as if people live in poor bits of the world they wont want to buy in construstion materials. the wood is very hard and durable and hard enough for a beam long before it has reached maturity when the trunk while it is still pretty thin.

      In windy places I think of a thorn, i think the image comes from some Bronte book, both thorny and doubled by the wind a dramatic image . In reality the thorns  i have known are twisted because they get nibbled at because they aren't twisted where there are not animals. If there is a high wind all trees should get deformed the wind kills the twigs on the winds side of the tree and so you get all the branches growign on the other side and the ones that live are the ones that are sheltered behind others so you get a flat topped tree whose top spreads out to one side of the tree. agri rose macaskie.

       
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
  travis philip,
    Looking for something else i came across an article i had forgotten about, i had printed out that just fits in here. It is from  the "vancouver permaculture network" the papper is on agro forestry, it says among other things that if you plant comfrey and alfa alfa, the alfa alfa fixes nitrogen which means there is plenty of nitrogen for your comfrey to take up the opnt of comfrey being that it takes up nitrogen so tha twhen you cut its leaves and lay it you get a lot of nitrogen on top of the soil. If you plant comfrey and alfa alfa then you can cut down your comfrey for mulch and as it has been accompanied by your alfa alfa it is fuller of nitrogen than it otherwise would be.
  He says there are three types of confrey two are usefull for mulch as they don't have seeds and have been bred for specific uses. bocking four bred seems to be the one he suggests. I think the writer is a he it may well be a she.
  He also says that comfrey has a spike root that penetrates through hard soil so it would be good for clay i suppose.
  I have been thinking, after reading that sandy soils are poor soils with the result that sandy lands breed more highway men than anthing else, that the sandy area i know, granite sand, is covered with broom a leguminouse bush and in my brother in laws garden  the trees that grow best are robina false acacia, called black locust in north america, a forage tree an luguminous tree. thinking of how it is leguminouse plants that grows in sandy places which is to say low nutrient soils, I am begining to believe more firmly in the importance of leguminouse plants for bettering soils. It seems that other things will hardly grow in sandy soils. Maybe if they pull up the broom from th emountainsides i know in spain that have sandy granite soils, they will loose the grass at the feet of these bushes. They used to burn the broom occasionally and it regrew from the roots, if they start to put herbicide on it instead of controling it with controled burning, it may never regrow again.
       Black locust is a leguminouse tree so that should be a good one for the other ones as itleaves will have more nitrogen in them and so better the soil in your wood.  F
      rom what i have read about trees and fungi ti seems that the micelium of fungi carries sap from sugar trees to help other trees so maples and birches could help the other trees too as so nitrogen fixing trees. 
 
  Sandy soils are poor because water washes through them carrying nutrients in the soil with it.  agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
What birdman says about trees and the wind has put some questions in my head and hypothesises.

  What trees do well in wind? I suppose trees that are more drought tough than other trees of the region becuase wind dries things, maybe coniferas that have thiner shorter water carrying tubes that resist embolias better, as the wind would dry the trees making embolias and loss of use in the tubes more probable.
      If the colum of water between root an dleaf snaps under stress ofr someone hitting the tree or airbubbles the tubes often never fill again and become useless.
      Wind also freezes trees more than cold without wind does.  I know it is said of the sabina alba, the juniperous thurifera ,that it bares cold winds on the mountains as well as poor soils and hot summers. So trees that are better equipped to deal with cold than others of the region would seem to be indicated in windy places. therse are hypothesis nof mine.
   
      The book i have on the phisiology of trees, "Trees" Roland Ennos explains the strange shape trees have in windy places.
      He say the particles in the wind kill off the branches on the windward side and the wind pushes the trunk and branches so they grow away from it so not much folliage on the wind ward side and the tree growing away from it rather than into the wind.
      The tree he has illustrating it has branches growing away for the windward side in a great plume like a plume of smoke in the wind almost like a table top of branches on an upward slope away form the wind on a stand that bends the same way they do a very unbalanced structure, rather than the normal upward pyramid of branches and leaves
    He says the wind kills the tips of the branches and so you don't get a high tree, only the downward facing branches grow in windy conditions though his tree grew side ways and a bit up not downwards. His comment is that the tree becomes more streamline.
  I have read about wind breaks, in on ebook i have they say it is best to have a wood that lifts the wind slowly with small trees on the windward side and then bigger and bigger trees lifting the wind bit by bit, of course not everyone has room for a wood.  agri rose macaskie
 
Birdman McCoy


Joined: Mar 13, 2010
Posts: 94
Location: Colorado
most of the time the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) part of the USDA, or the university extension service.  will usually have some info on what trees are good and what is available from the states forest department,  If your a land owner many times the cost is very reasonable. 

they normally have information on what will grow and produce in a given area,
and how they think a windbreak or shelter belt or what ever there desire for trees are,

in a windy plain few trees will really grow on there own, (that is why it is a plain), but some do better than others,  Siberian elms, rocky MT juniper, red ceders, ponderous pine, Australian pines, native plums, and some others would be good starter trees for mine area,

once you have a wind break I think other trees could be planted,  even orchard type trees,

I may try some here soon again  but when I tried in the past we planted some apple trees, and ever spring the blossoms would bet blown off ad if we ended up with 3 or 4 apples  was a good crop,  they finally just died out, and we had them near a place where water was available to the roots,

my DD and SIL have been looking at a old farmstead that has not been lived in for about 20 years and was started back in the 1920's but they planted a large verity of trees after the initial elms were started, and there are a lot of trees and verity of wooded growth,
the picture is facing the house, about 70 feet from it I have hardly ever seen any thing like it around here,


[Thumbnail for september 09 027.jpg]

rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
Birdman, I read a good permaculture article on the Jimbour cracking plain in Australia. I have it in the computer but I can’t find it again on the internet. In it they said that the lack of trees on the plain was due historically to the aborigines’ burning the ground periodically which did for trees  and then to the fact that the grass of the plain suffocates young trees and they said that that is the normal reason there are no trees on plains in Australia at anyrate it is possible the reason for prairies in north America too I have read that native Americans use  fire too.  Trees can in fact grow on them but don’t for these reasons.
        Here, where there is a lot of common land the juniper oxcycedrus grows if the land is left to itself and i have read that where they planted a green belt for the Sahara in northern Africa these trees appear between the pines if the pines have not been cleared. They plant pinus halapensis to stop the desert.
It would be easy to plant a place with these tree, you feed the juniper berries to sheep and then take them grazing on the land you want planted, the sheep or goats pass the seeds. Junipers are very slow growing though so it would not be the quickest way to forest land.

     The wind stunts trees but does it kill them? 
     What were the other factors in your garden, what is the soil like?
     I have an almond in a windy spot and it grew sideways but now has put up branches that would reinstate a straight growing movement. The wind seems to have lessened due to the snap willow in the gorge getting taller and blocking out the wind or that is what i imagine has happened.

    Would not the trees fruit on the leeward side of the tree in places where there is a lot of wind?. 
    I took photo of a lot of flower on the trees up the hill, sorbus domestica and when I looked for fruit to photograph a few mounths later and there was not any, I only found fruit on one tree, then i read that trees sometimes drop their blossoms if there is too little nitrogen in the soil. If they have dropped their blossoms for lack of nitrogen in the soil, it would be time plant trees from the legume family, prosopis and locusts, in a word what are all vulgarly called acacias, broom as under storey or that recipe  I mentioned above that was alfa alfa and comfrey under the trees so that the confrey takes up the nitrogen produced by the alfa alfa and then you cut the comfrey and let it drop so it will rot and fill the land with the nitrogen it has taken up. If you planted your trees on a clay soil these two plants would also help change that clay from a sticky heavy mass that would serve for children could use at playschool or potters into good earth.

       Trees can die in three years if they are root bound, if you buy ones whose roots go round and round in the pot making a sort of root basket for themselves, i read that then they can't get their roots out of the tangle they have formed into the soil when this happens and live for two or three years and then die sounds unlikely but if that is the experience of those who have a lot of experience I believe it, because of this I pull roots out of the tangle they are in, in the pot, at first I used to break a lot of roots and later on I got good at untangling most and since i did this untangling of roots be it that i untangled or broke the roots, the trees I have planted have survived.
     The other possibility is to buy trees what that aren’t potted, that come with very few roots, here called bare rooted, they look worse but the one like that that I planted worked better than all the potted trees  I have ever bought, it did not even give signs of needing water the first summer.
       If you brought dwarf fruit trees that seem to be around now and bigger wind break trees you could plants fruit trees at the same time as wind breaks except that even if the trees are cheap they still cost something and if you buy a lot the price soon leaps up. agri rose macaskie.
Birdman McCoy


Joined: Mar 13, 2010
Posts: 94
Location: Colorado
I have wondered the same thing about burning of the grasses,

as with Siberian elms in the agriculture program we have in the US, called CRP, which the government pays the farmer to plant native grasses,  any way the elms will start and grow in many of the CRP tracks, 

but I know if fire comes through they are usually killed off,,  now east of the rockies MT, (the mountains scrape all the water out of the clouds as they pass the mountains and leaves very little water for the east side of the mountains and that continues for about 400 miles, (which is where I live), as one gets through Nebraska or to the Missouri river, the rain fall is doubled and in some locations tripled,   any it is wetter there, and I have wondered if the wetter ground keep the fires in check and thus aloud the trees to survive as the fires either would not have been able to be sustained or have gone out on there own,  where there are some natural trees many are cedars and in gully's and hilly locations,

even the rivers were tree less until the area was settled, by man.
now the rivers are lined with trees,
I do not know if there were not the right trees to grown or if fire took therm out, but I do know the wind has a factor as well,
one other thing is even tho man has been planting trees in our area for nearly 100 years they do not seem to self perpetuating, on the old farmsteds they seem to die out and disappear, few regrow and take the place of the originals, if left unattended, even with out fire,  so I do not know the answer,
 
 
subject: 5 Acres and 3000 Trees to be planted: What would you do?
 
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