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Silvopasture Tree/shrub Selection

 
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These are the trees I plan on growing to support various livestock (mostly hogs/chickens and might expand to a few cows/goat/sheep later on)
Middle Tennessee  - roughly 10-20 acres.
10+ Rotational paddocks 1 week intervals on average.

NUTS
*Chestnuts - basically corn on a tree. Reliable annual yields. Most of the nut trees will be this. (varieties that are blight resistant)
*Hazelnut - shrub variety
Oak - White oaks most likely
a Few hickory/black walnuts

FRUIT
*Mulberry
*Apple
*Persimmons
Elderberry shrub
a few pear/cherry. still researching.

OTHER
*Black Locust - pioneer tree - firewood for home/posts - soil building and pods/leaves for food
Siberian Pea shrub
Poplar
Willow

*=primary crops
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I plan to grow a lot of these by seed understanding the long term wait for yields and not "true-to-type" nature. I will plant a few grafts/clones to make sure some are good and provide "bulls" to help cross pollinate for traits with some varieties.
Rows of trees running north - south and 10+ feet in between with various ground forage (different topic all together for this but warm/cold grasses, legumes, comfrey, vegies ect.)

I am not concerned with "invasive" species because I want this to be very self sufficient and hardy setup plus I plan on living here for a long long time.
Black locust for example could be used to set the stage so to speak for the slower trees to get established and thinned out when necessary - all while building soil/wood.

3D electric deer fence / woven wire will be setup before planting to help protect the young trees. Looking into tree tubes as well for smaller critters.
--------------------


Any suggestions or feedback is welcome!

Should I plant rows and mix plants throughout the property or maybe group different types into a separate paddock  and rotate animals according to harvest times?

I don't know anyone that likes this stuff in person so I figured I can talk to people online about stuff like this

Currently reading "Trees of Power" by Akiva Silver and have several more books lined up.

Note: I am not trying to make this a business - this will be for my own enjoyment family/friends
 
pollinator
Posts: 375
Location: Appalachian Foothills-Zone 7
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Sounds good.  Lots of work there!  You'll probably want water for establishment.  
 
Posts: 18
Location: West Fork, AR
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forest garden trees homestead
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Wow that sounds awesome I bet you're excited to get started.  I'm in the Ozarks so pretty much the same climate.

You could make the inner part of the 3D fence a few strands of high tensile fence and grow vining plants on.
You could start with ducks because they less likely to destroy young plants and will eat any fallen berries, sheep in a few years, cows in 5, and maybe not goats if you have a lot of woody food plants you don't want them eating.
Personally I would try and plant each row by harvest date.  You can still mix the canopy and understory species within the row so you don't have blocks of the same thing.

All those plants sound great.  A few more I would consider:

Fruit Trees
Asian Pear - These are resistant to firelight in your area

More Berries! - Berries produce at a young age, are easy to grow, store well frozen or dried, taste great and are amazing for you.
Thornless Blackberries
Currants
Gooseberries
Josta Berries
Juneberry/Serviceberry
Raspberries

Vines:
Grapes
Maypop/Passion Fruit
Hops
Hardy Kiwi

If you're looking for a source of plants I own a nursery called Food Forest Nursery ( https://foodforestnursery.com/)


 
josh akers
Posts: 9
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This is great info !
For water there is a river that borders the property - planning on setting up some irrigation so there is gravity fed water at strategic locations.

Ill have to do some research on berries and vines. Thornless blackberries sounds interesting!

I thought electric fences can't have anything touching on it. unless you mean have some strands that are not hot? Really liking the idea of vines on the perimeter fences though .
 
Derek Carter
Posts: 18
Location: West Fork, AR
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forest garden trees homestead
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You're right you can't have anything growing on electric fence.  I was thinking outer fence electric and inner fence just a trellis made from high tensile wire.
 
gardener
Posts: 3601
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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forest garden trees urban
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You might want Osage Orange for your perimeter.
I have found grape vines to be an incredible source of green leaves.
A trio that has emerged on my land is one mulberry tree with a grapevine climbing it and thornless blackberries at the base.
This creates a lot of greenery that sticks around even well past first frost.
I wonder if pawpaw will grow where you are?
 
josh akers
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Looked into osange orange a little more - sounds slightly similar to black locust  with more hedgy growth.  ill definitely try growing some of these.

IDK how but never heard of pawpaw it does grow here looks like.. This fruit sounds amazin! banana + mango  I'm sold.  and it says it grows in understory so this is a plus in my eyes.

I'm curious if blackberrys will grow on trees as well and if its a positive interaction with the tree. Or if any vine growing on a tree is beneficial for it really.  The idea of making a guild with trees is nice
 
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