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Transplanting Volunteer Trees and Bushes into the Food Forest

 
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I've been starting to transplant some trees and bushes that have been coming up in less desirable locations and moving them into the food forest to be put to use there.

I'm also leaving most of the ones that come up in the food forest alone also, unless they are growing right up against the edible plants.

They have made the area more beautiful by having a lot of different plants growing there, while I'm sure the soil and food forest is benefitting from the polyculture.

They can provide additional habitat for beneficials, shade the soil, create leaf mulch in place, and they can be cut back later if needed and left to build the soil.

I also plan to use them as trellises for both perennial and annual vining crops, so edibles can be grown on them.

Has anyone else done this or is planning to give it a try?
 
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Steve Thorn wrote:I've been starting to transplant some trees and bushes that have been coming up in less desirable locations and moving them into the food forest to be put to use there.

I'm also leaving most of the ones that come up in the food forest alone also, unless they are growing right up against the edible plants.

They have made the area more beautiful by having a lot of different plants growing there, while I'm sure the soil and food forest is benefitting from the polyculture.

They can provide additional habitat for beneficials, shade the soil, create leaf mulch in place, and they can be cut back later if needed and left to build the soil.

I also plan to use them as trellises for both perennial and annual vining crops, so edibles can be grown on them.

Has anyone else done this or is planning to give it a try?



I do this too.  Most of the nitrogen fixers in my food forest are natives that were growing other places on my land.  My fruit and nut trees are purchased, grown from cuttings, or grown from seed but most of my support species are transplants or thing like comfrey that I can split and make into many more plants while leaving a large piece of the original.  I move hostas that way as well.  I also do what I can to avoid disturbing the natives that are already in the food forest area.  I have an area that has dozens of milkweeds that I avoid walking into at all.  I have several areas in the food forest that I made paths around so they can grow up as they please.  Other than the spots that I have to disturb to put in plants and areas that I mow for paths, I leave things alone as much as possible and try to add trees and bushes without removing anything more than necessary.

 
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I did this in reverse to some extent when trying to keep the raspberry patch in my parents' backyard from overtaking everything. I would separate new shoots out from the subsoil runners and pot them up for transplantation in more appropriate spaces.

It's not like you don't want them; they're just in the wrong place. So why kill, when you can move, and continue to benefit from your trees' bounty?

-CK
 
Steve Thorn
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Trace Oswald wrote:I do this too.  Most of the nitrogen fixers in my food forest are natives that were growing other places on my land.



That's really neat Trace! I want to try to save seed from these types of plants and plant the seeds too. I've got some Mimosa seeds I need to spread out, now that I think about it.

My fruit and nut trees are purchased, grown from cuttings, or grown from seed but most of my support species are transplants or thing like comfrey that I can split and make into many more plants while leaving a large piece of the original.  I move hostas that way as well.



I love plants like that. I want to try to get some wild daylilies established in some wet areas on my property.

I also do what I can to avoid disturbing the natives that are already in the food forest area.  I have an area that has dozens of milkweeds that I avoid walking into at all.  I have several areas in the food forest that I made paths around so they can grow up as they please.  Other than the spots that I have to disturb to put in plants and areas that I mow for paths, I leave things alone as much as possible and try to add trees and bushes without removing anything more than necessary.



That's awesome! I'm trying to create a lot of these natural areas also. I find that the more wild plants I identify, the more I appreciate them, their natural beauty, and seek to identify their positive characteristics.
 
Steve Thorn
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Chris Kott wrote:I did this in reverse to some extent when trying to keep the raspberry patch in my parents' backyard from overtaking everything. I would separate new shoots out from the subsoil runners and pot them up for transplantation in more appropriate spaces.

It's not like you don't want them; they're just in the wrong place. So why kill, when you can move, and continue to benefit from your trees' bounty?

-CK



That's a great way to expand the food forest! I've done it with blueberries, and it's so satisfying to get free plants and increase the harvest!
 
Steve Thorn
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Here's a video I made of a wild mulberry I found growing in my yard. I transplanted it to my food next to some other mulberries.

I'm interested to see how the fruit turns out. It may be bland or it might just be amazing!

 
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