At the moment I sill live and work in different state from our homestead property, so I have been hiring a local carpenter/handyman who happens to be a neighbor. The last project I had him do was the removal of several long dead trees that were a safety hazard. When I said to leave the wood in the pasture because I planned to mulch/bury it next year to start raising the pH for a future windbreak planning he guessed that I was into permaculture (he has a few hugelkulturs on his property). Given I have a neighbor ally, I’m planning on putting in a new windbreak next spring and hiring him to stop by and irrigate through the summer.
Even since I first read the Resilient Farm and Homestead I have been thinking about the windbreak design in that book. It’s essentially a food forest in windbreak form.
Some of it maybe that Vermont has so much rain that the spacing is less of an issue but in theory the evergreens should self-prune the lower limbs due to contact. I have been trying to find examples of fully-grown implementations but all I can find are other designs.
These layouts are pretty counter to almost everything I have read about windbreak design with regards to spacing. Has anyone built one in these styles and how did it work out?
I’m not sure I’m going to include evergreens for this one since its more for the summer winds from the west. It’s a short run with a small amount of slope and I plan on incorporating some earthworks from Rainwater Harvesting volume 2 with added irrigation in the summer (first year from the tap, then from the irrigation ditches once they are re-built). I also plan on running a wooden snow fence along the fence line to break the wind for the first few years. I will also add a row on the southside of the existing willow/cottonwood windbreak to take advantage of the area.
The soil tests from earlier this year (general area not specific field) had loamy clay with a pH of 7.7, salts of 0.8 and OM of 2.1.
Potential Species List (WIP):
Austree Hybrid Willow – Fast growing with flexible limbs that can handle heavy ice without breaking. These would likely be coppiced or removed as the over plants grow.
Silver Buffalo Berry – shepherdia argentea
Wolf Willow – elaeagus commutata
Goumi Berry – elaeagunus multiflora
Honeylocust ‘ Northern Acclaim’ – Gleditsia triacanthos
Kentucky coffeetree – gymnocladu dioicus
Western Catalpa – Catalpa speciose
Silver Linden – Tilia tomentosa (this may need to wait until the pond is built)
Cornelian Cherry – cornus mas
Amerucab Highbruh Cranberry – viburnum trilobum
Seaberry – hippophae rhamnoides
Saskatoon – Amelanchier alnifolia
Mulberry 'Northrop' or ‘Pendula’ - Morus alba (the pH is probably too high for this one)
Gogi – lyceum barbarum ( this may need more moistur)
Chokecherry – prunus virginiana
Nanking Cherry – prunus tomentosa
Buartnut Walnut - Juglans x bixbyi
Butter nut - Juglans cinerea
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