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cutting white spruce stand

Kurt Rodrigue


Joined: Aug 01, 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Ste Felicite, L'Islet County, Quebec, Canada
I'm happy to announce I have found someone to help me cut my white spruce stand, (its blocking sun and taking up a lot of space, round 30000sq feet). once that is done i will be left with a high ph soil and lots of stumps, any good permie way to get the soil back down to a respectable ph and get rid of the stumps?
thanks
Kurt
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    8
Hi Tulku,

What did you end up doing with this scenario?

If its not too late, I'd suggest working with the high pH rather than against it. That'd be the ideal permaculture way IMO.

There are many plants that would enjoy the acidity. And I'd leave as many stumps as possible. They are habitat for insects.

Here's a list of plants that like acidic soil off the top of my head...

blueberry
raspberry
blackberry
cranberry (I think)
currants
gooseberry
tomato
pepper

If you haven't removed the logs and branches from the cut yet, I'd suggest making hugelkultur mounds with them. Line them up either perpendicular to the slope, or on a 45-ish degree angle from the slope, and then bury them with soil from the pathways.


http://www.greenshireecofarms.com
Zone 5a in Central Ontario, Canada
Kurt Rodrigue


Joined: Aug 01, 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Ste Felicite, L'Islet County, Quebec, Canada
awesome thanks Travis
do you know any trees that might be suitable
thanks
Kurt
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    8
Pear, apple, and apricot are said to need acidic soil, according to "The New Greener Thumb" by Mark Cullen. However, I'm not sure they'd still do alright in pine soil though, due to the extra high acidity, and the pine-specific soil ecology. HEre's a link that might help you out with that answer... http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/resource/trnursry.htm

I'd suggest calling the number at the bottom of the screen at that link.

Kurt Rodrigue


Joined: Aug 01, 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Ste Felicite, L'Islet County, Quebec, Canada
thanks again, i appreciate the responses.
so far i've stacked the branches into piles, not done yet. I was thinking of getting a seed mix for moose and deer, and then just spreading that around to get it going building some organic matter. Just straight planting of stuff right in there appeals to me more though. It will depend on my budget next spring.
Kurt
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
I was wondering, tulku, if you were going to do any hugelkultur. If you happen to have a lot of wood, and I happen to know you just cut some, building your own raised beds, and, thus, creating new soil from the available biomatter, might handle your soil acidity problem. If not, and you have adequate drainage (I think the best kind of soil would be a variety of sandy loam, but don't quote me), I believe potatoes require a soil acidity of 4.5 to 6, but I'm not sure as to the spruce-specific ecology of the soil. For your trees, by the way, I was wondering if you'd noticed the Free Trees thread. It might prove useful. Good luck.
Kurt Rodrigue


Joined: Aug 01, 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Ste Felicite, L'Islet County, Quebec, Canada
thanks for responses, much appreciated.
yes i'm going to do some hugulkultur with tops and branches.
Anyone have any tips on growing apples and pears? i already bought way too many and i'm worried i'm gonna screw everything up. They are all in the ground, i mulched, will much more with ramial wood, and wood chips this year again, and compost (purchased) do i need to do anything else at this point? When and how much should i fertilize and with what? i'm in zone 3-4, the trees i selected are all 3 or 4. Problem is i am in a valley and its always colder here.
so ya any tips would be great
Kurt
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
The only thing I can think of is that you might want to shape your hugelkultur in such a way that you encourage cold air to keep moving downhill, or at least not trap it. I'm not sure if you've come across the permie explanation of how one deals with frost, but it's here somewhere, and it basically suggests that you think of cold air as slow-moving cold water, and that you don't place anything in its downhill path that would cause it to pool. I don't know if tall, crescent-shaped hugelkultur arranged so the open end faced downhill (so the uphill-facing convex side channels the cold air around your trees) would work as I've suggested, but from what I've read and heard on Paul's podcasts, it should. If you're in a hole surrounded by hills, however, I don't know what you can do.

-CK
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    8
Fertilization would depend on what your soil is lacking. Is it worth it for you to get a soil test done? Have you at least done a pH test?

If not, then I'd just spread a light covering of some kind of manure around the tree on the soil surface. Since you've already spread compost and mulch, I'd spread the manure in a circle around the existing mulch ring, about 1/2 to 1 foot wide, then cover it with wood chips or some other mulch. You may want to sprinkle a light dusting of wood ash around the tree as well.

To help mitigate the cold...

Place as many rocks around your trees as you can. The more, the better. To be safe though, I wouldn't put rocks within 1-2 foot of the trunks.

Water...if you can; create ponds, even small ones near your trees. Generally, placing ponds to the south of the trees is best because it'll reflect light towards them.

Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4245
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  62
If the spruce are a useful size for building, I would use them for that. Qubec has huge quantities of birch and maple that has black heart. This maple is unsuitable for lumber. If you have access to these or other hardwoods, your resultant beds will be less acidic and more nutrient rich. They will decay faster than spruce.


QUOTES FROM MEMBERS --- In my veterinary opinion, pets should be fed the diet they are biologically designed to eat. Su Ba...The "redistribution" aspect is an "Urban Myth" as far as I know. I have only heard it uttered by those who do not have a food forest, and are unlikely to create one. John Polk ...Even as we sit here, wondering what to do, soil fungi are degrading the chemicals that were applied. John Elliott ... O.K., I originally came to Permies to talk about Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs, and now I have less and less time in my life, and more and more Good People to Help ! Al Lumley...I think with the right use of permie principles, most of Wyoming could be turned into a paradise. Miles Flansburg... Then you must do the pig's work. Sepp Holzer
 
 
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