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Temperate Fruit/Nut tree guilds

 
                        
Posts: 19
Location: Canada. Ont
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Anyone have any info on fruit/nut tree guilds, and nitrogen fixing trees that occur in the northern hemisphere?  Particularly temperate/boreal canada.  Im looking into planting a small guild on a 1/2 acre, any suggestions are much appreciated .

Cheers.
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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This is the furthest north permaculture group I know of, maybe they can help.
http://www.linnaeafarm.org/
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 20430
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I don't know what boreal means.

It seems that the reason most folks don't publish actual guilds is that it will change so much from region to region.  And then what happens next will be different based on whether you are near a creek, at the bottom of a valley, on a hillside, next to a road, or whatever. 

Maybe you have a spot you want to tell us about and some ideas on what you would like to try for that spot and then we can come up with guild stuff for that spot.



 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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here in zone 4/5 of Michigan, not quite Canada, i have planted a lot of fruit and nut trees, the nuts are still babies, but i have done a lot of study of what will grow, and what will actually fruit here..most will grow but some won't fruit in our frosty cold.

I have 3 kinds of walnuts, black walnut, hardy english walnut, and butternut, the black and the butternut are the hardiest of the walnut family but there is also heartnut that might grow in your area.

I have planted 6 hazelnuts, or filberts, they are doing really well. I have 2 sweet chestnut trees doing well. I have planted 4 hardy pecans, only one lived and i don't know if i'll replant those..they aren't as reliable this far north. I have also planted one Halls Hardy Almond, so far it is still doing ok. I put in 2 hickory nuts, they are growing fine.

as for fruit trees, most apples and pears will grow just fine but check the zones and ripening times..cherries and peach family are a bit trickier so you really gotta look for the hardy ones for this far north..sour cherries are hardier than sweet, but i have some north star sweet cherries planted here..I find reliance and some other peaches are hardy, but the trees are not so long lived..plums are also iffy, i have some planted here but so far haven't had anyh grow very well..grapes are good but go with the really hardy ones..i ahve both seedless and seeded varieties..Kiwi are really iffy here.

black and rapsberries grow really really well here..and are very very prliflic, they love our areas..strawberries are more iffy, they will frost in the late froses and freezes.


i have planted paw paws, but aren't sure on them yet and have ordered mulberries buyt haven't been able to get them causwe of recent failures of the crops.

elderberries are really good if you have the proper soil conditionos and also blueberries grow really well if you can give them acid soil.
another fruit that does really well here is rhubarb  and perennnial crops like asparagus do really well in the north..hope this is helpful
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 20430
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I kinda wonder .... somebody could make a "fruit tree guild" seed mix which has all sorts of stuff for all sorts of conditions.  And the stuff that does well on a particular soil/climate will do really well.  Everything else dies.  Business opportunity?



 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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This isn't exactly what you're looking for but it may help. It is a search engine about native plants in Canada including the boreal region.

http://nativeplants.evergreen.ca/search/advanced.php

this other section of the site allows you to compile a list of plants sorta like a 'shopping cart' option on an e-commerce site.

http://nativeplants.evergreen.ca/lists/user_plant_list.php

There's also a site with extensive info on permaculture plants but not so much about guilds:

http://www.pfaf.org

As far as info on guilds, I've been looking for that too and have only found bits of information here and there. I'd suggest the two volume text set entitled "Edible Forest Gardens" by David Jacke.
 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Are you looking to do a homescale 'feed yourself' set of guilds or are you going to be marketing some of these plants? If so that's a real game changer.

Oh and a tip for finding nitrogen fixers in the Evergreen Database link I gave... At the bottom in the 'Interesting Tidbits ' section, you can type in 'nitrogen fix' and it will give you a list of species that do just that.
 
Heda Ledus
Posts: 70
Location: San Francisco
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The most common one I see in the "wild" here would be a native walnut, valley oak, elderberry, blackberry guild.

Though the black berries are always on the most dappled shade side and the elderberries are always around the edge.
 
                          
Posts: 27
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cheese, how far north are u?  what zone?
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 20430
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Yeah,  how cold does it get?  How much rain?  What are the primary trees that you would like to have?
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 855
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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All from:

Kari, P.R. 1995. Tanaina Plant Lore: an ethnobotany of the Dena'ina Indians of South central Alaska.  Alaska native language center, U of AK, Fairbanks, AK

They lived and all these plant occur 60-63 degrees north... Veg gets simpler the farther N you go.  Ive seen most of these in the land of Spruce.

Lupinus - lupines... lots of them up north - all N fixers easy from seed
Mountain and thinleaf alder Alnus crispa and incana - easy from seed on bare ground, resprout from stump, easy coppice and nitrogen fixer,
Alpine blueberry - Vaccinium uliginosum, ovalifolium, probably domestic too.
Amelanchier alnifolia - selected varieties make nice berries - deer love
Vibernum edule - highbush cranberry -- not to my taste personally
Salmonberry, red raspberry - Rubus spectabilis and idaeus, easy from root or stem cuttings.
Sheperdia canadensis - soapberry... i think this is a N fixer?!
Rumex - dock tap root nutrient accumulator, medicine, easy from root cuttings
Nettle - fiber and spring greens, nutrient accumulator - easy from root fragments in spring.
Wild Potato - Hedysarum alpinum... the one that killed the 'into the wild' guy... eat the roots not the seeds... other pea family plants of the same genus, all nitrogen fixers
Norther Yarrow - Achillea borealis - insectary

And one other that is real pretty...
Quaking aspen... very clonal, good wood. will spread
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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i do find that my trees do best if i keep perennial flowering plants under them..in the deep shade areas i have hostas and ferns and solomons seal under apple trees..funny..the deer don't even eat them, they just wait for apple drops..i have things like iris and daylillies and hardy geraniums and violets under some other apple trees, mixes of perennials flowers under cherry and peach trees, and asparagus under wild plum and apple trees..

i plant all my trees in mixed beds with perennial food and flower plants..comfrey and rhubarb are also great under fruit trees, but best to use them under trees that will bear after the frost knocks down the perennials..as otherwise it is difficult to pick up the drops.

or get to them.

i have strawberries also under my sour cherry trees, as a ground cover....they bear before the trees..

i have always combined everything together..but keep grasses away from all of my fruit and nut trees..as grasses will rob from the trees.
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3360
Location: woodland, washington
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I would suggest plants of the Elaeagnaceae family for inclusion in your guilds.  many are nitrogen fixers and produce delicious and nutritious fruit, not an easy combination to come by.  three of the more familiar are goumi, autumn olive, and sea buckthorn, but there are a number of others.  very cold hardy, as well.  they're great to plant with your nut trees: enrich the soil so the nuts grow faster and you'll get fruit long before the nut trees are mature.
 
John Sizemore
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
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there is a native fruit producing shrub that fixes nitrogen. It is not a legume though. It is an elaeagnus.
I am planning on planting it on my place in WV. I only have a half an acre though.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SHCA
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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