the basic machine is a three point single shank ripper, in a since, there is the adjustable bar the chisel point is attached to, I think I have a colter in front of the shank,( straight disk to cut any residue, that would hang up on the shank), then on the back of the shank I welded on the shields, with the flared top 45 degrees, it is more of a funnel to feed the trees into, (the first attempt I had the wheels (press wheels),on non pivoting or floating bars, but discovered that the wheel needed some independent movement to work the best, so I rebuilt that part, attached the seat to one side and the tree tray to the other side, the wheels are off a old plow, and the angle helps the packing and closing process, the process is to take the tree, and feed it into the shields which the shank has just opened up a trench and the shields keep it open, you guide the tree until the packer wheels press the soil around it.
the spacing is done by the jug that was being drag ed, I had a pin that one could make quick adjustments with, on the length of the chain, when the jug came to the tree just planted you put in another one, you keep very busy if your putting them in at 6 feet spacing 1 mph is fast, (to make communications easer, I gave the helper, on the machine a whistle to blow as to be heard easily by the driver in the tractor.
I will try to get a few side pictures of the machine and post later,
the fabric layer is a frame, (this machine could be improved with some input, but it worked OK, so I left it), some of what makes it tricky is getting the angle on the 3 point set so that the machine is in the ground in the front and correct in the rear as well, if it had gage wheels to float on may help and if the center wheels were sprung to keep constant contact on the tarp as well,
but any way, (I found it best to not load the machine and make some runs on open ground to see how it is cutting and throwing and covering the soil, before using the mulch, first the front shanks cut a ditch and throw the soil out to the out side, leaving a place to cover the edges of the fabric, the wheels are angled to the out side so the fabric is stretch some, if the pressure is if correct it works adequate, then the back disks they throw the soil back over the edges of the fabric, to start I did a trench and put some landscaping staples in it, in the trench, and then cover the edge. The machine needs to be in the ground, then as you travel over the trees,
(the picture show the operator, with a utility knife to slit it for the trees, the trees need to be pulled up through by hand, you can see some pictures of this as well, and a landscaping staple staple is put in one the down wind side of the tree, best if a staple is put in on both sides of the tree, but the better way, to do that, is to have the operator have a can of marking paint, and spray a spot on the fabric where they think the tree should be, (what I found is some can do a very good job with the knife and be right on some people gage it up to a foot off), the other problem is if the operator cuts the slot, (make a X slot not just a slit), so one ends to make a second cut, any way) so I found a very low percent of trees cut by the knife, but some needed replanted, but I found that if the person sprayed painted the spot, even if off it was usually off consistently, and very easy to feel the tree under make a precision cut and cross cut, very few damaged trees, and the slots much more accurate,
pictures of some of the weeding and some of the young people that helped me, also note the soils and the plant life, to begin with and the last pictures with the grass that was planted around the trees that has grown in, (the last pictures are some of the first trees I planted with the system.
one replants in the fabric mulch, I make a small 3" auger on a shaft (similar to a bulb planter) and use my cordless drill to power it and drill a hole in the soils and put the tree in and add soil back in and step on it. (have some deer chew off some of the trees).
If one did not want to have rows, of trees, I think if one made a series of rows side by side on about 15 degree angle would help give a natural look, especially if one would vary the spacing some more, but to fabric mulch an individual tree would be work,
I did think if one took off the back fill in disks, and just used the mulch machine to make a cut across the top of the tree, and then one at 90 degrees, I think one could then put a square of fabric over the slots and fill it in with a shovel as the machine had done the heavy work but still would be time consuming,
Oh one more thing I would take the tractor and drive back over the fresh soil that had been laid ed over the edges of the fabric, to pack it down with the tires.
your tree-planter design is similar to one we used for Christmas trees. we used a 3-point hitch attached to two tool bars. first one had a big shovel to make a trench, and the following tool bar had two discs angled to toss the dirt back into the trench over the roots. pretty much the same way we plant potatoes with a couple minor adjustments. worked a charm. planted a couple acres of trees in no time at all.
hey all, first let me say i dont want to judge any mathod, or scale it as better or less good. But i get confused by the subsections on this forum.
i mean, this is posted in the permaculture subforum, but to me planting these huge rows with fabric mulch really doesnt reflect 'the permaculture way'.
And i know people practicing permaculture have to flexible and make their own choices, but also think that this would be better posted outside the permaculture subsection to prevent 'newbies' getting a 'wrong' idea/image of how to mulch.
or am i way off here? paul?
land and liberty at s.w.o.m.p. www. swompenglish.wordpress.com
I am sorry I was not promoting the fabric but the mulch in the other post of 5 ares and 3000 tree to plant, some one asked me to post pictures of the equipment I made, if it is in the wrong place move it please, (in my case the mulch was landscaping fabric, and in number of years it nearly all breaks down to nearly nothing, much of it has all ready broke down).
where I use the mulch, I had about 98% to 99% survival rate, I ran out of fabric and planted about 100 yards with out, lost about 98% of those,
as one can see in the last picture the tree and the grasses have done will in the last few years,
If one has other mulch methods that can keep the moisture in and weeds out great, but when one has 10 plus miles of them to do in serve drought conditions I will use what works, and I will not claim that I am a Permaculture farmer, I am organic and working to more of a Permaculture methods, yes in our area when they first started to plant trees back in the 1930's they hand hoed and carried water by the bucketfuls to keep the wind breaks alive, with a much labor and much loss in the trees, probably a loss of 80% many times.
My thought is that it depends on what you are doing. If you have a few acres to deal with, you can plant trees by hand and mulch with straw, leaves, and so on. But it looks like Birdman has a large acreage to plant; in that case, IMO, it makes sense to do it the way he is, because if it all had to be done by hand the purist way, it might never get done, or it would be prohibitively expensive. I would hate to think that only the rich were able to do what he's doing with his land....I suppose you could do a big area like that by hand, but it would take a lifetime. By utilizing machinery, he's able to get it done much more quickly, and get those trees growing.
Location: Amsterdam, the netherlands
posted 10 years ago
yeah, i didnt meant to be a permie purist police,
i was just wondering if this would maybe better on its place in the 'organic practices' part...
and of course i can understand your choice in this case, also i really dont think of permaculture to be a static concept that always looks the same and is aplied with the same techniques.
i was just thinking back to my own first months of trying to figure out what the basic thoughts and principles/techniques of permaculture are, and how confusing that was.
and i thought this might make it a bit confusing for starters.
land and liberty at s.w.o.m.p. www. swompenglish.wordpress.com