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Mulberry vs salix usefulness

 
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can anyone tell me which, between willow and mulberry, has more advantages and produces more biomass?

I'm trying to make a small hillside area productive, used for about thirty years as a chicken coop by my parents. the land has some fruit trees including a mulberry tree planted about thirty years ago, and a willow tree that is somewhat in the shade and is more or less the same age. In recent days I took branches from the willow and started to plant them in rows with the intention of making them gradually become small walls to raise small terraces, as well as use them for chop and drop in order to start improving the soil to make us a fod forest. I chose willow because the soil is very clayey and in winter with the rain it becomes a marshy sponge in some places, it is also one of the trees with the fastest growth and can be pruned aggressively. When my uncle asked me what I was doing, at my explanation he said "you can plant mulberries!", But I didn't think they could be used for those purposes. However, being receptive to the suggestions, noting how large the mulberry has become and how difficult it is to eradicate being attracted by the possibility of making fruit and jam tarts (as well as letting my loving and chubby maids feast on wings), I I am looking for information, discovering that mulberry lends itself well to coppicing, provides a lot of biomass and, in addition to the excellent fruits, the leaves are also protein and suitable for animal and human consumption.

So I was wondering if there is any comparative study on the speed of growth of willow compared to mulberry and which of the two has more advantages. While the willow tree I consider it a temporary plant, to be used only to improve the soil, build elevations and take advantage of the stagnant water that is created, the mulberries could leave them permanently to use the fruits and it attracts me much more.
 
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Location: Abkhazia · Cfa (humid subtropical) - temperate · clay soil
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Mulberry is great … if you manage to easily pick the ripe fruits.
Those here are more than 10m high with pretty much nothing in reach. The birds are happy about it tho.

If you just want biomass: How about alder? It grows in wet clay soils.
 
Enzo Gorlomi
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Sebastian Köln wrote:Mulberry is great … if you manage to easily pick the ripe fruits.
Those here are more than 10m high with pretty much nothing in reach. The birds are happy about it tho.

If you just want biomass: How about alder? It grows in wet clay soils.



That of alder is an excellent idea, so much so that initially I had drawn up an ideal list of possibilities that also include alder, since in my region (southern Italy) there is an autochthonous species (alnus cordata).

However, I would like to give priority to what I have at hand, because it is immediate and without costs, having so many branches available from these two trees (willow and mulberry) that my grandfather planted many years ago, and so I also avoid procrastinate these jobs (I have a great emotional need to get my hands dirty in this period). The mulberry tree of which I speak is also too high (it has been potqto high to shade), therefore the intention would be to keep the height of the new trees at 1-1.5 m as a living wall. The strength of the willow is that it's so damn easy to take root! I kept the branches for a few days in a mini-pond because I didn't plant them immediately and they are already full of roots. that piece of land in the winter is bogged down due to water stagnation, but the mulberry has nevertheless grown well. the fact is that I like mulberry much more and it has multiple uses, but I am afraid to be disappointed if they grow little or do not take root. if in doubt, it might make sense to alternate both, having to make at least four rows of twenty meters?

now, however, I wonder, will planting many mulberries have a negative impact on the growth of trees that I intend to insert in the future, given the extension of its roots and considering that it should not be the main crop in the future?
 
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Sebastian Köln wrote:Mulberry is great … if you manage to easily pick the ripe fruits.
Those here are more than 10m high with pretty much nothing in reach.



Mulberry can be maintained as a large shrub, producing lots of biomass when pruned.  In my new garden I have one Willow and one Mulberry.  So far the Mulberry is growing much faster in spite of having been drastically pruned twice by deer.  So if I had to choose between the species, I would plant Mulberry instead of Willow.  Mulberry is also more suited to my climate.
 
Sebastian Köln
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I just harvested the first mulberries… by climbing all over the tree…
 
Enzo Gorlomi
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Tyler Ludens wrote:

Sebastian Köln wrote:Mulberry is great … if you manage to easily pick the ripe fruits.
Those here are more than 10m high with pretty much nothing in reach.



Mulberry can be maintained as a large shrub, producing lots of biomass when pruned.  In my new garden I have one Willow and one Mulberry.  So far the Mulberry is growing much faster in spite of having been drastically pruned twice by deer.  So if I had to choose between the species, I would plant Mulberry instead of Willow.  Mulberry is also more suited to my climate.



Thanks for the reply. How about compatibility with other crops? I would like to specify that the primary purpose of these trees is to help me build terraces, supporting and providing organic material to fill the elevations. the main trees that I'm interested in growing are almonds, hazelnuts, chestnuts and some trees to fix nitrogen (as well as other plants such as Jerusalem artichoke, yam, chayote, sweet potato, pigeon-pea, runner-bean, fruit trees, berries etc. ). Considering that mulberries are practically impossible to kill, could they damage and / or make it difficult to grow other plants?

Thanks
 
Sebastian Köln
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Their canopy is certainly quite dense, depending on the variety even very dense.
So only shade tolerant plants will work. I can't speak about nutrients, but there are no nitrogen indicator plants growing around the mulberries here.
 
pollinator
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Why not plant both, side by side. Maybe even months apart. Then if the mullberry and does well kill the willow.
 
Enzo Gorlomi
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Sebastian Köln wrote:Their canopy is certainly quite dense, depending on the variety even very dense.
So only shade tolerant plants will work. I can't speak about nutrients, but there are no nitrogen indicator plants growing around the mulberries here.



Considering that I will coppice/pollard them, I am more worried about roots and nutrients availability to main crops. In this sense, the question was about mulberry roots.
 
Enzo Gorlomi
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S Bengi wrote:Why not plant both, side by side. Maybe even months apart. Then if the mullberry and does well kill the willow.



Yeah, that's a nice idea
 
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Enzo Gorlomi wrote:
Considering that I will coppice/pollard them, I am more worried about roots and nutrients availability to main crops. In this sense, the question was about mulberry roots.



I think the roots are only spread as wide as the tree is tall. When coppiced, the roots will die back, to about how tall it has been coppiced to, adding a huglekulture effect to the area.

If you are doing a no-till garden, and nothing you have to dig out, like potatoes, I'm thinking the roots would be of no consequence. I have two mulberries, and the only factor I've had to adjust for is the shade. The trees are 5 and 7 years old. 20 to 30 feet tall, and scheduled for their first coppice this winter.

Oh, wait. The front tree is actually 3 in one planting. It was bird planted. I did coppice one of these two years back.
 
Enzo Gorlomi
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:

Enzo Gorlomi wrote:
Considering that I will coppice/pollard them, I am more worried about roots and nutrients availability to main crops. In this sense, the question was about mulberry roots.



I think the roots are only spread as wide as the tree is tall. When coppiced, the roots will die back, to about how tall it has been coppiced to, adding a huglekulture effect to the area.

If you are doing a no-till garden, and nothing you have to dig out, like potatoes, I'm thinking the roots would be of no consequence. I have two mulberries, and the only factor I've had to adjust for is the shade. The trees are 5 and 7 years old. 20 to 30 feet tall, and scheduled for their first coppice this winter.

Oh, wait. The front tree is actually 3 in one planting. It was bird planted. I did coppice one of these two years back.



That's a great info. While I like the concept of no-till and soil preservation, tubers and radishes like Jerusalem artichokes and yam, will be the next most important crop after nut trees, because I think that they are more sheltered from the incessant activity of the hens and are stored well into the soil to be harvested as needed. My intention is to give priority to well storing, high energy crops in the final design (chestnut, almond, hazelnut, with perennial tubers and nitrogen fixers, then shrubs, berries and all others stuff to add diversity and use the available space), so I'm concerned about the negative impact could have the secondary crops on the most important ones.
 
pollinator
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I’d do willow and mulberry side by side in the same planting slot. I just take a spade, drive it into the ground, lean the blade back to open a slot in the soil, and slide in a couple cuttings. Sometimes this is two willows, or it may be a willow and some other native wetland plant I want to grow like hazel, thimbleberry etc. The willow root hormone will help stimulate rooting in the other plants around it just like it does in a gravel bar that’s been scouted by flood. I got this idea from Sepp Holzer, and there is a video about dam edge planting where willows are planted with I believe chestnuts or hazelnuts.

I agree with the posts above suggesting both and more diversity as you can get it. Willows are great for stimulating roots of any plants around them, and you can water your starts with willow water, which has simply had whips soaked therein. I also like the idea of using the willows as retaining wall support! The mulberry roots, with the top being coppiced, will actually help many plants as well as they decompose proportionally to the amount taken off the top, leaving a loose cavity of compost behind them. They also attract so many birds that they will weep fertility downhill, but I would bet that spot is plenty fertile after thirty years of chickens! On the other hand, I believe mulberry can take plenty of nutrients due to their high protein production and adaptation for hosting birds’ feasts and eliminations of waste thereafter.

Great ideas Enzo, keep up the good work!

 
Enzo Gorlomi
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guys, I'd like to thank everyone for their support and useful information! I will use them both I worried too much about the roots because I had forgotten to consider the positive effects that you pointed out to me.

I learned about the root power of willow and the use of willow water a little less than a year ago and I was amazed, so much so that I immediately went to plant branches in the ground. I was just asking if the rooting power could also be transmitted to nearby plants and you had anticipated me . I am not an expert in agriculture and before a year ago I had never read anything, even if a passion of mine was transmitted to me by my mother, who in turn inherited it from my grandfather.

PS: not only birds (there are many here), but my dog ​​also loves mulberries
 
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