Tina Paxton wrote:One tree that I've read to be a good nitrogen-fixing tree in our area (if somewhat invasive) is the Mimosa (Japanese silktree) (Albizia julibrissin). I've also got a lead on some Autumn Olive seedlings. Other than that, I'm open to ideas.
Paul Ewing wrote:
I have heard yes and no on if Albizia julibrissin really fixes nitrogen or not. This seems to be similar to the honey locust where it doesn't have nodules like most nitrogen fixing legumes, but there are lots of people that say it does anyway. Personally I am looking at planting both mimosa and honey locust for the fodder value alone and if they happen to fix nitrogen, all the better. I have a few mimosa already and will be collecting seeds from them this fall and buying several pounds more. I plan to plant the seeds in dense rows in a pasture to use as a fodder crop following Jaime Elizondo's approach.
Zach Muller wrote:Hey Tina I am in a similar zone to you, with similar plant selections. In my garden I have gone ahead and planted 4 Mimosa trees. I got the seedlings from a friend who has a fully mature Mimosa, and they have had no issues with it suckering. It is a heavy seeder so I expect to have to pull out sprouting seeds eventually (like I already do with redbuds, hackberry, pecan and oak) But I grew up with a Mimosa tree so it is one of those familiar plants I like.
I am allowing quite a few pecan tree seedlings to grow up in the garden, their taproot does good things in puncturing down and getting nutrients. Other trees I have planted for dynamic accumulation and chop and drop are mulberry, hackberry, and redbud. All these trees were easy to get for free and they grow so readily.
I would never plant ailanthus altissma in my garden, but I have a large one nearby that I chop and drop all the suckers off in the chicken forest. This would be a great fast growing accumulator if it was not such a colonizer.
Looking forward to what Stefan has to say on this.
Paul Ewing wrote:We have several mature A.Julibrissin here some with 40'+ diameter crowns and the grass grows very well under them. I can't say if this is because of nitrogen fixing or just that the foliage is not very dense and a lot of light gets through, but there is enough to moderate the climate as well to enhance growth. There are some on the fencerows by the road that have wild plums, hackberries, grass, and misc weeds growing under them fine.
Erik Lee wrote:Excellent news, thanks for the replies. I wish I could dig up the original source that listed it as allelopathic, but I've lost the link. I thought it was the USDA Plants site, but looking through there now there's nothing about allelopathy so I must have mis-remembered.
Alder Burns wrote:Apparently, too, the blooms of A. julibrissin are becoming popular as a calming medicinal tea, originally from Chinese medicine I think.
Tina Paxton wrote:Good day, Stefan! It is very nice of you to answer questions and I see there are quite a few very excellent questions already been tossed out at you. I have a very newbie permie question for you.
I am looking at options for planting nitrogen-fixing trees and nutrient accelerators amongst my fledgling food forest and would welcome ideas of good trees to consider or to avoid.
I'm in zone 8a (or is that 7?) on the southeast coast of NC. My homestead is a mere .6 acre.
Currently planted: Santa Rosa Plums (3 of them) and a blueberry (lone survivor of a planting of 9), and 9 mulberries. I also have 60 bush willows (SX61) planted as a fodder source for rabbits. (There are also 4 mature pecan trees, a number of young pecans planted by squirrels, and a couple of oaks and a holly tree which I hate.)
Planned for planting (or trying again): figs, blueberries, peaches, apples, Chojuro Asian pear, strawberries, Chickasaw plums, muscadines
One tree that I've read to be a good nitrogen-fixing tree in our area (if somewhat invasive) is the Mimosa (Japanese silktree) (Albizia julibrissin). I've also got a lead on some Autumn Olive seedlings. Other than that, I'm open to ideas.