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Guerrilla planting into a young Doug Fir monocrop

 
Posts: 39
Location: Olympia, Washington
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Imagine your next door forest was clear cut and it will soon be planted in Douglas fir. How would you, in a totally hypothetical way, go about discretely planting for diversity and food in a set it and forget it way?
 
master steward
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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I'd probably go with edible natives that often pop up in those areas:

Shrubs
Blackcap raspberry
Thimbleberry
Trailing blackbery
Salmonberry
Hucklberries
Oregon Grape
Salal

Trees
Service berry
Alders (not really edible, but they'll help the forest be healthier)
Blue elderberry
Maples (mmmmm, maple syrup. Leaves and flowers are edible, too)

Herbacious
Wild strawberrys
Oregon Sorrel
Sheep sorrel
Miner's lettuce

These all have the advantage of not looking like you planted them there. They ARE native plants. And, they're ones that will do well with clear-cut forest soil.

A lot of those plants can be grown from canes or branches. Daron William might know more specifics on how/when to do it. But all blackberry/raspberry/salmonberry/thimbleberry plants can regrow from cuttings just shoved into the ground. So too can elderberry. It shouls be easier to just shove those canes/cuttings into the ground (in fall?) than to try to dig and plant them now, especially with the dry weather we have right now.

I'm a fair drive from you, but I have crazy amounts of salmonberry and thimbleberries and even some red huckleberry bushes you could get branches/plants of.
 
master pollinator
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Location: 4b
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I always wonder if guerrilla planting does more harm than good, and the ethics of it bothers me.

We have commercial tree farms here, several right near me. A friend owns one.  All of them I have seen do the same thing. They clear cut when the trees are large enough to harvest, then they replant and use spray herbicides to control "weeds" periodically throughout the life of the trees. Weeds are everything except the trees in this case.  If you plant the area with a bunch of stuff, native or not, the people that maintain the tree farm will just spray more often. I personally don't want to be responsible for extra spraying of poison. I don't see any gain from it. The plants you put there are not going to live any substantial amount of time before being poisoned.

As far as the ethics of it, I believe in property rights. My values are different than my friend's that own the tree farm. I don't believe that gives me the right to go on his property, illegally by the way, and impose my value system on him. Suppose he were to decide to come onto my food forest and spray poison all over everything except my trees because that's the way he thinks trees should be grown? My rights to do what I think are best for a piece of land end at my property lines. I'm all for educating people in what I think is the better way to do things. My friend had probably heard the word "guild" far more times than he would like. I think he is a little interested in what I tell him about my own methods of growing.  He isn't ready to try something else with his tree farm yet. That is entirely within his rights. He bought that land, he pays the taxes.  I don't believe disagreeing with him gives me any right to go onto his land and start planting anything. I think if you want to plant something, do it on your land or somewhere you have permission to do it.

 
Dj Cox
Posts: 39
Location: Olympia, Washington
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Thank you, Nichole! Your absolutely right. That’s gonna be the best way to have plants that survive that type of direct heat and lack of water.
 
Posts: 147
Location: Vermont, USA
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I would probably plant those cane fruits and other good spreaders on my property line. They would infiltrate the edge of your neighbor’s Douglas fir farm, without you trespassing. And keep some diversity where the fir farm abuts your land.

Do you know about the farmer/forester’s plans for spraying?  I’d certainly be reluctant to speed that process up.

Edited to fix unbearable typos.
 
pollinator
Posts: 156
Location: Zone 7a, 42", Fairfax VA Piedmont (clay, acidic, shady)
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Like Anne said, I'd plant something as a buffer group to spread into their area and protect you from herbicides.  In my climate that'd probably be Golden Bamboo (running), but I don't know what would work best for you.
 
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