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windbreak for market garden

 
leanna jones
Posts: 38
Location: Pennines, northern England, zone 7b, avg annual rainfall 50"
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hi, i'm at the stage of designing on paper a new market garden, now planning windbreaks to plant this winter. i am pretty new to permaculture so my mind is blown by trying to design bearing everything in mind at once. does anyone have recommendations of good trees to plant:

- northern england, pennine hills (zone 7?)
- quick growing as site is exposed so garden is limited until there is some shelter (poplar, aspen?)
- i think we will be short of carbon for our compost as the site is all pasture at the moment. straw is not readily available. therefore in time i would like the trees to contribute to compost and mulching -what is particularly suitable?
- trees that fit the above and that are also fruiting? (i thought that blackthorn, roses and blackberries would grow fast between other trees and help create wind shelter?)

thanks for any advice
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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You may prefer evergreens as your windbreak, and fast growing ones here in Michigan would be white pine and red pine ..also black spruce are quick if your soil is dampish. I think that is why yew is used so extensively in your part of the world.

Jerusalem artichokes are also very fast at making a windbreak but keep them away from your annual crops as they spread. They do however grow fast and thick and are good forage.

as for the poplar, i have them but they aren't a good windbreak until they get quite thick as the trunks seldom keep their lower branches.

the hedges of berries also works well once they get established but you again will need a thick stand of them and they don't grow very tall. Here i have an evergreen windbreak, and then 20' east a berry hedge
 
Sam White
Posts: 221
Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
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forest garden trees woodworking
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I know it's an old post but I thought I'd offer some advice anyway

Blackthorn is a good option as a windbreak although it does sucker. Damson might also be hardy enough. In both cases you'll have a lower fruit yield than if the trees were sheltered. Hawthorn might also be a good option.

Here in Wales we're going with poplar in one of our shelter belts although I imagine we might be a bit lower (200-250m) than the Pennines. Like Brenda suggests, we might have issues with bare lower trunks at some point so we might look to an evergreen to fill the gaps. We do have a dry stone wall immediately to the north of part of the shelter belt so it may be that we won't need to fill gaps in that section.
 
leanna jones
Posts: 38
Location: Pennines, northern England, zone 7b, avg annual rainfall 50"
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hi thanks for the replies. i think i'm going to go for mainly alder, undecided whether to go for non-suckering kind or whether i want the suckers for the sake of having some carbon for my compost. and blackthorn, hawthorn, roses, blackberries. might try damson too, though i think i want to concentrate my damson trees where they will be more accessible. and jerusalem artichokes between the hedge and the veg beds too.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Leanna, what plants are traditionally used in your area?
Gorse has gone bonkers in NZ, but it's an amazing plant in the right environment. Nitrogen-fixing, bee-fodder, wine material, animal repelling...
Unless you have little wind in winter, I'd focus on evergreens.
It's worth looking at the physics of air movement, although needing a bit of light shelter is very different from attempting to slow down gales!
windbreak
I'm an advocate of good-quality windbreak cloth (black, I think green looks ugly) to protect things in the short-medium term.

 
leanna jones
Posts: 38
Location: Pennines, northern England, zone 7b, avg annual rainfall 50"
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yes, gorse is very much native here. maybe lots of that then to one day replace our deer fences. you can make capers by pickling the flower buds too

i will look into windbreak cloth, i'm sure it's expensive but might be well worth it

 
Fred Berg
Posts: 6
Location: Connecticut: Zone 6a
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As a longer term solution are there any hedge laying societies in your location? I'm sure they'd know the best plants and techniques to use and might even provide some labour.
 
Sam White
Posts: 221
Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
1
forest garden trees woodworking
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Always worth volunteering with the National Trust or similar if you wish to learn hedge laying. Some volunteer organisations may also organise a day or three to work on your hedges.

National Trust working holidays are a good way to learn hedge laying and other skills too; tis how I got my first introduction to hedge laying and dry stone walling.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 1594
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands
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I discourage the planting of wind-break trees around annual gardens. Or to say it in a different way, my experience is that trees and annual gardens don't get along well together in my climate. What ends up happening, is that the trees suck the water and nutrients out of the soil for a distance about equal to their height. Therefore the annuals grow poorly, if at all.

When I am looking for fields to add to my market garden, one of my highest priority selection criteria is that there not be any trees anywhere near the garden.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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