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Hardy Kiwi vs. nut trees

 
Patrick Winters
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One of the things I've read from a lot of people is that Hardy Kiwi vines, when allowed to grow up the trunks of trees, will eventually kill them, which obviously in most cases is a terrible thing. If one is establishing a food forest, however, and they intend to grow Black Walnut or blight-resistant American Chestnut on the eastern limits, after the trees reach a certain height they will begin to overshadow everything else regardless of where they are situated. Could you plant the Hardy Kiwis at the base of these trees when they reach a certain height, in the understanding that after x years, when they've just begun to cross the threshold into too-shady, the vine will start to strangle it and pull it down? At that point, the tree could be coppiced to start over again, correct?

Would the kiwis even be able to grow in the presence of a Black Walnut tree?

If this was even remotely feasible, what kind of combined yield could the kiwi vine and the nut tree produce? Would one neutralize the yield of the other?
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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I don't have Kiwi on my Juglone tolerance info so I don't know about that..but why not just grow the Kiwi up an arbor of some sort to remove the problem of it killing a tree?
 
Mark Allen
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Location: North of Atlanta
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Brenda Groth wrote:..but why not just grow the Kiwi up an arbor of some sort to remove the problem of it killing a tree?


It is my understanding that the Hardi Kiwi is a very heavy mass so the arbor would have to be extraordinarily sturdy. I would love to hear from some people who have actual experience with the crop. I think I am going to use the Hardi Kiwi to take over my sweetgum trees. The only problem is that they are soft wood and with that kind of weight how long would they stay standing if they died?? Oh well i won't know if I don't try!
 
duane hennon
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I have some hardy kiwis that I started on trellis and russian olive and jumped onto a nearby honey locust
these vines are very "growth oriented" more so than grapes.
the vines really should be pruned occasionally to cut down the amount shoots and encouraging fruiting
pruning wil alsol limit the amount of damage done to trees and the trellis
the russian olive has been covered by vines for about 10 years yet still survives by sneaking enough new foliage out to keep it alive
it produces few fruits however.
any tree used for a support should be thought of as that
don't use any tree you want to produce fruit or nuts

as an aside, I have finally been able to keep a male alive for three years
for some reason something has always happened to them
perhaps next year it will blossom and I finally get some kiwis
 
tel jetson
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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Mark Allen wrote:
Brenda Groth wrote:..but why not just grow the Kiwi up an arbor of some sort to remove the problem of it killing a tree?


It is my understanding that the Hardi Kiwi is a very heavy mass so the arbor would have to be extraordinarily sturdy. I would love to hear from some people who have actual experience with the crop. I think I am going to use the Hardi Kiwi to take over my sweetgum trees. The only problem is that they are soft wood and with that kind of weight how long would they stay standing if they died?? Oh well i won't know if I don't try!


it's not too much trouble to build a trellis sturdy enough to support them. one advantage is that you can keep the vines in reach for easier pruning.

I could see growing a trellis out of a few sturdy trees, then keeping the kiwis in check with pruning. the trouble comes when the kiwis are left alone. it's tempting to just let them do what they want, but I've seen the results with kiwis: a large mess. it could be a nice mess if it was on a trellis isolated from other plants or structures that could potentially be eaten by kiwis. my experience has been with kiwis damaging buildings and fruit trees, though. some plants just don't play well with others.
 
                    
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Maybe I'm missing something but I havent had luck getting kiwis to climb a tree. These are large established trees, honey locust, black locust and hickory. So far the kiwis have no interest in climbing the trees and just get shrubby at the base. Everything I've read said yes they climb way up trees but this far that just hasn't happened for me. This is only their 3rd year so we'll see what happens. I've tried training them a little but that hasn't helped either.
 
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