• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Burying wood another way, near young fruit trees

 
Zach Lesselbaum
Posts: 4
1
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maybe someone thought of this before
But for planting a fruit tree why not plant it first then start driving 6"-12" wood "spikes" into the ground nearby? They can even stick up a bit above ground.
You get wood from pruning or other source. 1-3" diameter would be optimum. Sharpen one end with a circular saw if you want and hammer it into the ground. I have done a little of this already. The moisture/rain will flow downward through and around this wood as it rots. It may rot quicker than horizontal hugel-wood. It may drain heavy clay quicker for you

This way you have less risk of the young fruit tree subsiding below the soil line as the hugel wood rots, which is bad for low graft unions. It can rot them and kill the tree. You never bury grafts when planting a fruit tree

I have also planted grapes in an above ground mini hugel-box. A raised bed with buried wood/one-three inch diameter incorporated in soil in the box and below the box. Hugel-box is only 24"x24" and 6" high. Created mostly from discarded plastic election signs. These durable plastic signs have many garden uses. I gather them up after a November election. The thick metal wire in them also has garden uses.

zach (my first post)
 
M.R.J. Smith
Posts: 71
Location: North Idaho at 975m elevation on steep western slope, 60cm annual precipitation, zone 4
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the idea. It sounds good, but there may be other things to consider. For example, keep in mind that water is a two way street and it is possible that if it is wet below and drive above, the water will wick up the stick into the air from the ground, drying it out more than if there were no stick. I have not tried your method so I don't know if that would happen, but something to look out for. Also, if you are driving logs into the ground, you may damage roots; how many of these do you put in near each tree? Also, the sheer mass of material may suffer from this method. With a hugel bed, you can easily throw a full few trees in a good sized bed. If you're just using prunings (which you'll need pretty straight branches in order to drive them any distance at all) you may not get that huge network, which brings me to my last point. The huge web of mycelium and bacteria is beneficial as well as the decaying wood. Think of a hugel bed as being a huge metropolis of life and (I'm not sure because I've never had experience with your method,) and you method seeming like a bunch of small towns. I don't know if the analogy works, but take from it what you will.

I'd be interested to see how this works long term. It would certainly be easier than other alternatives. Give it a few years and if it works, let us know and I'll do it too!
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2308
77
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It works.

Quite well, in fact. I do this with my blueberries toward the end of summer, and since I started doing it, they have been thriving and sprouting new plants, where they were only surviving before.

You really don't have to worry about damaging roots, you're not doing any more damage than a burrowing animal would, and just like branches grow back from being pruned, so do roots.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How many years have you been doing it John? And how many years before you noticed results?
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 1924
59
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been doing something like this for years. Fruit trees need fungal soil, so I plant old wood into the hole when I plant the fruit tree. Like a mini hugel, the old wood soaks up water like a sponge and keeps it moist through the summer. It drains well, and creates a very microbe friendly soil. It works great!
John S
PDX OR
 
teresa quintero
Posts: 31
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


I had 2 problems with that post.
1: She redid the hugel after 1 year because is didn't work great. I have read numberous reports that the first year is generally mediocre and greatly improves in the 2nd & 3rd year. If you keep changing it after the first year, you wont get those great benefits of HK.

2: She put wood chips in the hole. When people say hugelkultur can't work because the wood will steal nitrogen, they are wrong because big hunks of wood take a long time to break down. Wood chips buried in the ground on the other hand, will break down quickly, using nitrogen that could go to the plants.
 
Judith Browning
Pie
Posts: 5540
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
260
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's an older thread here at permies about driving in stakes around existing plantings called VAMPIRE GARDENING that had a lot of discussion. I just noticed that I posted last in it........it's been a while
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Love the title! Funny how few "brand new" ideas there are.
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2308
77
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cj Verde wrote:How many years have you been doing it John? And how many years before you noticed results?


I put the blueberries in when I first got here 5 years ago, and they were just hanging in there for 3 years. And I might lose a couple that just dried up, even though they were surface mulched. Last summer I started burying wood, pounding oak branches into the ground in the blueberry patch and I mulched them with shredded pine cones. This year has been much better. Last winter I had volunteer plants for the first time ever, and I did not lose any plants to dryness this year. The volunteers from last year are big enough now to transplant (I'll do that this winter), and I have maybe twice as many new volunteers as I did last year. Again, I'll let these new volunteers grow for a season and wait to move them until next winter.
 
teresa quintero
Posts: 31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cj Verde wrote:


I had 2 problems with that post.
1: She redid the hugel after 1 year because is didn't work great. I have read numberous reports that the first year is generally mediocre and greatly improves in the 2nd & 3rd year. If you keep changing it after the first year, you wont get those great benefits of HK.

2: She put wood chips in the hole. When people say hugelkultur can't work because the wood will steal nitrogen, they are wrong because big hunks of wood take a long time to break down. Wood chips buried in the ground on the other hand, will break down quickly, using nitrogen that could go to the plants.
She did three, one with the woodchips, but I haven't seen any update as to how any of the three turned out. Where did you see it? I've been really interested.

What did you think about the vertical stump in the containers?
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
teresa quintero wrote:
What did you think about the vertical stump in the containers?

I only saw the stumps in the ground.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic