Zone 6B, granitic alfisol, disturbed, somewhat poorly drained
Ok, there are some good posts on living fence/coppice/hedgerows, but how do you get them started, especially when you already have livestock and don't want to spend $1,000s for a permanent fence that you don't want long term? I had one idea, make a wattle fence from trimmings and thinnings. I suspect the wattle should last 5 years, sheep proof and add enough structure for the coppice plants to take root, grow and start to develop into a permanent living fence. Planting being on the opposite side of the pesky sheep.
One day this past june, I was trimming up trees for fire protection and looking at them thinking what a mess. And then I was down in the forest thinning out 4" dbh pines... It got my thinker going, well, I needed a fence. So, I started to build it, and then realized this would be a perfect structural start to protect a hedge row until the living fence could be established and laid properly.
Posts: thinned 4" diam pondo timber, pointed with a chainsaw and hammered upsidedown (top of tree side down) about 2-3ft below soil surface. Posts placed ~3ft apart.
Wattle: all those trimmings from limbing up trees. just woven all artsy.
1) I wonder if any of you have seen this done in this way?
2) Anyone have any other suggestions on how to start a hedge row with animals, suggestions/thoughts (?)
3) Anyone have a good source for cheap hundreds of plants (hoping $1 each) thinking thornless locust but a quicker growing tree would be ideal for interplanting. I doubt poplars will grow well in this part of the property without longterm irrigation, but then again, our cherries apples and pears are not irrigated. there might be a good drought tolerant poplar i'm not familiar with.
Food for thought. Looking forward to a good conversation.
Thanks for the suggestions,
I've worked with https://wacdpmc.org/current-availability (washington state association of conservation districts plant materials center) but they tend to stick with mostly natives. Maybe a good link for some folks.
and arbour day foundation also has a bulk tree section
I had another thought about the wattle, there are some studies that show living hedgerows can increase soil moisture, better snow distribution, reduced ET etc. But when used in an agroforestry type situation ( hedges spaced, on contour, annual crops planted between hedges), there can be an increase in overall annual crop productivity, but a decrease in annual crop production near the hedges... since this wattle is essentially a "dead" hedge row, it might actually increase soil moisture directly adjacent to it which may help in establishment of the living faction addition and reduce the need of irrigation. It'll be interesting to see how growth and soil moisture will be this coming spring. I need to get some trees ordered :)
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