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Creating an Oak forest

 
pollinator
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Have had good success with these grow bags, the plastic is strong so I have been able to reuse them.

Plant seeds in small yogurt pots and then after the first year plant into the grow bag for 2 years then hopefully plant out .
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That is really impressive work, Jay.

Between demon sheep, goats, deer, horses and geese it isn't easy to protect trees.

I have been planting much smaller trees though, thinking they would get a better start that larger ones...
But yours look really well. My husband also suggested the black pipe as a protective sleeve.

Do you find the larger trees need less weed maintenance, in their final positions?
Do you add a mulch or let the grass grow up around them?

Also, minus the tunnel please could you give some tips on how you started your outside nursery areas?
Do you think the seeds planted in the yoghurt pots etc need to be kept indoors whilst they establish?

Whoever said your posts were motivational was right, I feel like doing a marionette number with my spade 😂
 
Jay Mullaky
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Hiya

The larger trees need zero weed maintance once out. Now if you main goal with the apple trees was the apple crop then it would probably be of benefit to kill the grass.

Planting out big trees has its pros and cons.

Cons: a lot of digging to get them out, need a digger if they are planted densely.

Pro: once you add the protective pipe you are done, great satisfaction knowing that they are safe. Also very visually pleasing once they sprout the following year.

BUT you have to prune them very hard. Basically pollarding the oaks. This can be hard to do as it feels 'wrong' to take a lovely big tree and chop the top off, but it will Improve it's survival rate hugely and once it sprouts in spring you will have a lovely looking tree.

If I was doing it again i would be planting all my seed in small pots and then once the tree is a foot or so tall plant it outside in ridges.

I plant a massive amount of seed into buckets. Any bucket I find that has a crack automatically becomes a pot for trees. A lot of the oaks I am.planting out are 10/11/12 years old, but all you need is a bit of height, I have planted out apple trees at 3/4 years old and they are just as protected once the pipe goes on.

This year I will be planting the trees in the pictures out into ridges.

The rides current have bigger trees which I am.planting out into their final place. I am going to dig up the ridge and space the trees around 2 feet from each other so that eventually I will be able to dig them.up with the spade, and I will use news paper as a weed barrier.
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maybe you could make a tree spade or tree toad ,a manual version with slide hammer ---tow behind ATV---or bigger version on tractor 3 point linkage ---get an upgrade and go hydraulic power on it---would save the chopping/digging and get a good root ball as well
 
Jay Mullaky
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Hi Tony

Everything is so wet at the moment, I try and avoid moving machinery around. My system at the moment is to walk around the mini jungle and just pick a selection of 10 trees.

Today I dug up and planted out
4 apple trees
2 blackthorn trees
1 Oak
1pear
2 plums

Sneak in and sneak out with minimum ploughing of the ground.


I have found a bunch of Alders which I am keen to get at. I am tempted to buy 100 Alders to plant out in a few years, wonderful tree when you see how they can grow on terrible ground
 
tony uljee
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you could possibly make as a pull behind size , like alders too ---grows very  on any wet clay ground and they make lots of good leaf litter ---i have burnt its timber in my stove ---great heat i found --which is contradiction to all the usual advice
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gardener
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Awesome thread! I applaud your determination & dedication to the creation of the forest!

Oaks (along with elms) tend to be the most "weedy" trees on my property. While both are beautiful, they're so prolific & fast-growing that they quickly crowd out the things I've purposely planted. I generally just use the saplings & dried leaves as mulch, and the constant dropped sticks from the mature trees as fillers between logs in my buried hugels (though I've left several oaks along the fence line where the new pig pen is going).

I'm slowly working on a similar "forest" plan in the back acre of my pasture. I love Bald Cypress, and have been planting lots of seedlings from the bags of seed I collect every winter from the 3 cypress trees beside the parking lot of the local grocery store. The BC may not be super useful in a permaculture sense, but I figure I can always use them for fence posts later if I want to replace them with something more useful.
I've also been propagating willow cuttings as a fast grower for biomass, and allow almost all of the Mimosa/silk tree seedlings to grow wherever they come up.
I'm still trying to fill up my food forest area with edible trees, so haven't planted anything edible in the back forest except for fig trees I rooted, but will probably put several peach trees back there since I have several seeds in the refrigerator from this years harvest that are already trying to sprout.

I'm looking forward to seeing your progress with your project! Looks like you have a good plan in place!
 
Jay Mullaky
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Thanks for the post always interesting to hear what other people are doing. I am on the west coast of Ireland and it can be pretty limiting with the trees I can grow.

That tree toad Is cool, but not practical for what I am doing.

However if I could make a heavy duty version, about twice the size, of this and was able to use a sledge to knock the blades down, it would be sweet.

https://youtu.be/o940aAho8g8
 
Jay Mullaky
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Cherry trees must have the nicest bark of any tree
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Jay Mullaky
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A few more pics
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Jay Mullaky
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Found a nice amount of Hawthorne trees in amongst the Oak trees I am digging up.

Today marks 1 month since I started planting and I am up to 195 trees. Worked out that for the posts/tree guards/cable ties it costs approx 3 euro per tree.
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Jay Mullaky
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I'm still alive.

Up to 250 trees.

Planted out 10 Alders in the poorest land we have, might buy 100 Alder slips that I can plant in a ridge for 3/4 years before planting out.

The tree in the picture is one of the biggest ones I will plant this year. I pruned it a bit, just to neaten it up. It's gone into a nice bit of soil and is sheltered against the prevailing wind by a blackthorn hedge that has gone crazy.
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Jay Mullaky
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Some more planting,

Very big crab apple tree in the picture with the dog.

And the other picture is showing a strip of trees I am planting.

One thing I have noticed about sessile oaks is that they don't seem to have a tap root.
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Jay Mullaky
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Up to 298

Took a video of me digging out one of the biggest oak trees. I had removed a lot of other trees around it which made it a lot easier to get out.


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Jay Mullaky
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Finished the year with 312 trees planted, started 27th of October.

Tree in the blue tub is a spindle, I think they are poisionous to animals but they have a very nice colour in autumn.

I still have plenty more trees to plant, I would like to get at least 600 planted.

I have also come up with a new way off cutting the pipe and sliding it onto the tree so I don't have to prune the bigger trees as brutally.
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gardener
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Wow.

First of all, good for you!  How ambitious.  Those are very large trees -- this is no simple project.

My question: will those big trees survive?  It seems like an awful lot of trauma and not very much root mass left to support those big trees.  I'd be curious with your survival rate going forward.  

Thanks for sharing your ongoing journey with us.  I anticipate your every new submission to this thread with eagerness.  Thank you.

m
 
Jay Mullaky
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Hi Marco

I would expect all the trees to survive. I always prune the branches before I re-plant them to reduce the amount of wind that will catch them and also to reduce the demand in the roots once spring comes and the buds open up.

In general I have found oaks to be very tough and can take a fair amount of abuse.

The very big tree that was in the video, I pruned approx 50% off all its branches off before planting as I know there would be a huge demand on the root system.

I have a few hundred Holm oaks which are evergreen trees, but it will be 6/7 years before I can plant them out. I want to use them with Holly and Scots pine to create some sheltered areas in each field. We can get bitterly cold weather during lambing time, more wind breaks the better
 
Jay Mullaky
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More planting

Have almost finished another section. Initially I was just going to plant a few fruit trees around big rocks that jut up in this field but then I decided to put in some rows of oaks.

I also planted a few ash trees that had self planted in amongst the oaks, gonna pollard them.
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Jay Mullaky
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Up to 366

Currently planting out a bunch of Holly. I have to plune them very hard as I was unable to dig up much of a rootball. They were planted very close together and I needed the digger to lift them. I have 10 planted at the moment and maybe another 20 left but some are very spindly.

I also need more black pipe, so far I have used 700m of the stuff, I used a good amount early on to protect trees that I had planted last year.

The digger also lifted some very big trees that I wil attempt to plant. Will get pictures once I try and tackle them.

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Jay Mullaky
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Hit 400 today

Actually today I had to cut down a few trees that were leaning. People used to plant Sitka spruce trees as windbreaks around houses, fast forward  70 years and you have some very tall trees in dodgy places.

In exciting news I have bought a 7hp chipper so hopefully it will arrive this week : )

I have also ordered another 100m of 100mm pipe and 70m of 150mm for some of the bigger trees.

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Jay Mullaky
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410

Got a delivery of pipe.

Bought some trees online, they are 1-2 foot trees so I will plant them in a ridge for 3/4 years. I have bought the following

45 Holly
50 European larch
50 Scots pine
60 Alder
10 hazel

So in a few years I will have Holly, Scots pine and  my Holm oaks to create some sheltered areas.
 
Jay Mullaky
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Some of the oak trees have a huge amount of lichens which is meant to be a good indicator of air quality.

I also prepared and planted my bought holly and hazel = 47 holly and 10 hazel.
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Jay Mullaky
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Gonna attempt to plant the big trees that the digger moved, managed to get two out. Will be pruning hard.

Also some pics of lichen on a whitethorn tree.
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Jay Mullaky
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Got a new chipper so after a few hours of chipping I had plenty of wood chips.

I have 47 holly and 10 hazel in a ridge so will try newspaper and wood chips to keep the weeds at bay
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Jay Mullaky
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423

Got an order of
50 Scots Pine
50 European Larch
60 Alders

Will continue to clean up some ridges and add these trees.
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Bundle of 50 Scots Pine
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Alder
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European Larch
 
Jay Mullaky
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442

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Jay Mullaky
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Planting a section around the ruins of a old house/pen up the hill.

There are a number of mature oak/beech/alder trees, maybe 20 trees in total. They are a little patch that stand out on the hillside so I want to enlarge this section.

Ground is very boggy so I am limited to where I can plant. The famine ridges are very prominent .
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Jay Mullaky
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This section was cleared and all the big trees planted out. Vast majority of trees here are apple/pear planted from store bought fruit, so will be interesting to see how they turn out.
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Jay Mullaky
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I need some rain.

Have put 5 of these 1000L containers out on the trees so far, takes ages
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Jay Mullaky
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18

Still a bit early/mild to go at the oak trees but I have started planting out fruit trees that I have in grow bags.

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Jay Mullaky
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31

Have picked out another field that I will plant
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Jay Mullaky
pollinator
Posts: 129
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Found a few Alders that I can use for the wet parts of the field
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Posts: 38
Location: North Thomas Lake, Manitoba
3
forest garden trees
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Jay, you're doing an amazing thing. I hope I can find a fraction of that success with my project.
 
Jay Mullaky
pollinator
Posts: 129
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Weather has been had and the land is wet.

Picture of one of the best trees I have planted so far this season.
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For my next feat, I will require a volunteer from the audience! Perhaps this tiny ad?
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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