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Planning on growing a hedge/living fence

 
Posts: 111
Location: Midwest zone 6
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We have a good deal of genetic diversity in osage trees on the place, and I could collect osage many places within driving distance.  We also have honey locust and crabapple growing wild.  Eastern red cedar would be nice if it can get along with the others. 
 
master steward
Posts: 27472
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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My general thinking is that you plant ten seeds for every seedling.  But I think that ten seeds is still way easier than one seedling.  And then your trees are more likely to have taproots.

 
Wyatt Smith
Posts: 111
Location: Midwest zone 6
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I appreciate your concern for starting from seed.  I think we will not rush into a hedge perimeter fence for 166 acres.  We might try a small experiment and work gradually.
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 27472
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Experiments are good!  Please share the results!
 
                        
Posts: 175
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I usually think of a living fence as something like a hedgerow, but this living fence is made from live willow cuttings:

http://www.marthastewart.com/article/living-willow-fence?video_id=0

As the cuttings root, they leaf out making a leafy enclosure--which you have to prune but still its pretty neat.
 
Posts: 418
Location: Eugene, OR
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  I am fond of Rosa Rugosa - roses with tasty, edible hips.
 
                        
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There are lots of species roses that have edible hips.

I wrote an article a few years ago.  Here:

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/710/
 
Kirk Hutchison
Posts: 418
Location: Eugene, OR
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Nice article. I don't know much about roses. I just got a bunch of the rugosas (for my mom's b-day) because that is what the nursery offered.
 
                        
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The rugosas are quite vigorous and they will have nice hips.  They are often used to cover ugly architeture.

You might see some of the native California roses at some of the botanical gardens around LA.
 
                    
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Would it work to make a labyrinth out of roses or would it be too much trouble??
D
 
                        
Posts: 175
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Diane.  You can train climbing roses pretty much any way you want.  Just make sure the rose you choose is not too vigorous for your design.  Check out the mature ht of the rose and then plan on that volume.  You might want to visit one of the rose gardens to see what they look like.

If you are in California there are many excellent rose gardens:  Descanso, The San Jose Rose Garden, and also there are a lot of old roses growing around the missions--if they are still there. (Not sure if you are in California).

I have seen Lady Banks roses cascading from telephone pole sized posts--so they grow much taller than the posts but can be arranged to cascade down. 

Don't forget though that most climbing roses bloom just once a year so you will want something else for interest perhaps.  Many of the climbers do however have interest throughout the year -- the Lady Banks feathery foliage for example and of course, hips in the fall.
 
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Reporting back from my experiment... dumped a 2' by 2' by 40 heap of wood chips on grass, then stuck 12-16" cuttings of 1-3 year old wood in february and laid a drip line - only one irrigation yet this year.  Cut with scythe along edge, near 100% survival in this wet cold spring (good for cuttings).  Following species (with performance in perenthesis):  Ribes sanguineus (good), Spirea douglasii (great), Rubus parviflorus (ok), Holodiscus discolor (ok), Philadelphius lewisii(weak), Physocarpus capitatus (good).
IMG_2060.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_2060.JPG]
 
                    
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Wow thanks wombat for that inspiring answer!
Lady Banks roses sound beautiful!
But I'm up north in Montana, will they grow here?
D
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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good article on living fences in this months new Mother Earth News Magazine..quite useful
 
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
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Brenda Groth wrote:
good article on living fences in this months new Mother Earth News Magazine..quite useful


beat me to the punch the article is online here
http://www.motherearthnews.com/modern-homesteading/living-fences-z10m0sto.aspx?page=5
 
              
Posts: 238
Location: swampland virginia
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That's a nice looking hedge. I tried my hand at hedge laying about a year ago in the back yard. Cut a bush three fifths through or more and laid it over onto a stack i'd cut from another. Worked like a champ. I had run across some funny sounding woodsman terms which lead me to the whole ditch / river erosion control and hedge laying. They have hedge laying competitions.

The mother earth news article shows how to weave the young plants. Anyone know if you will still get some good posts out of them once you weave them. I'd assume so, but not sure.

A couple links to osage

http://www.osageorange.com/osage_orange_p.html
http://www.osageorange.com/
http://www.gpnc.org/osage.htm
http://hedgeapple.com/
http://hedgeapple.com/seeds.html
two photos that do not show up on the page
1 - http://hedgeapple.com/static/images/seeds1.jpg
2 - http://hedgeapple.com/static/images/seeds2.jpg
  buy them hedge apples
http://www.ent.iastate.edu/toxicology/

http://waynesword.palomar.edu/jackfr1.htm
Was thinking about doing this with mulberries. They do not give you any ouch factor, but it is a cousin to the osage orange, and I have a bunch of 1 to 4 year olds in the yard. Not sure I want the mess from the birds though.

Anyone know how well trees of the same species will grow together and/or different species? In time, is it easy to have a true solid wood wall? I know there are ways to do it, just not sure the easiest and best.
 
Posts: 77
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Also posted a question about this on the "other" living fence thread - I'm interested in a living fence/hedge for fencing and cross-fencing our homestead property in NE Georgia, but we intend to keep goats.  Does anyone have experience with living fences and goats?

Thanks,
Doug
 
                            
Posts: 42
Location: Central Missouri
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While not intended for a fence, I'll be planting an edible hedge along my property line this spring.  I've ordered the Nut Tree and Wild Edibles bundles from my state's Department of Conservation.  I'll be getting 5 each of Shellbark hickory, Pecan, Hazelnut, Black walnut, Butternut, Pawpaw, Black chokeberry, Wild plum, Elderberry, Persimmon, Red mulberry, Golden currant, Blackberry, Black cherry and Serviceberry.  That's 75 seedlings, plus 25 Oaks to fill in the bare spots in my 1 acre wood lot.  So I'll be pretty busy planting and watering this spring.  I still need to figure out the spacing for the plantings, to balance the upper and under story trees.
 
pollinator
Posts: 103
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A late post, but there was a good article in mother earth news on building a hedgerow fence:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/modern-homesteading/living-fences-z10m0sto.aspx

Patrick
 
Posts: 90
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I'm planning to plant a living fence too. On top of being a critter barrier and privacy screen I am hoping to use plants that make good livestock fodder (for goats specifically). My idea being that since they need to be maintained anyway it would be nice to be able to supplement their feed with the trimmings. So far I have honey locust and tagasaste as the principle fodder trees for my hedge, I am also planting several other free standing trees such as ironwood as fodder trees as well. What would be some other good additions?
 
              
Posts: 238
Location: swampland virginia
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PapaBear wrote:
I'm planning to plant a living fence too. On top of being a critter barrier and privacy screen I am hoping to use plants that make good livestock fodder (for goats specifically). My idea being that since they need to be maintained anyway it would be nice to be able to supplement their feed with the trimmings. So far I have honey locust and tagasaste as the principle fodder trees for my hedge, I am also planting several other free standing trees such as ironwood as fodder trees as well. What would be some other good additions?

Consider adding mulberry to your hedge. has a lot of good benefits for the animals and same family as osage orange. Leaves are loaded with goodies as well as the berries. Some mulberries are suppose to be ever bearing, but not exactly sure what that means (6 weeks ?). Hazel nuts may be good too.

I'd like to put some osage orange in my hedge. Not sure if people would get upset next to the sidewalk, and have not seen any growing here in the swampland. Would they keep out all the little critters (opossum, raccoon, ground hog...)?
 
Brian Bales
Posts: 90
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mulberry and hazel nuts are some good ones. I also came across this permaculture farm in Australia. Some great ideas there. http://www.small-farm-permaculture-and-sustainable-living.com/livestock_feeding_systems.html
 
              
Posts: 238
Location: swampland virginia
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thanks for the link PapaBear. I collect those .

Looks like an easier read of what is in 'Tree crops' by J. Russell Smith.1929 version1953 version He talks a lot about letting the animals harvest the tree crops for you. He also mentioned Persimmons along with a few stories of sounds of crops hitting the ground followed by racing animals to eat them and the sound of them being eaten.

Just picked up an old copy of how to graft nut trees as mentioned in Smith's book. Nut Growing by Morris.

 
Brian Bales
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I've settled in on honey locust, tagasaste, black mulberry & albizia lebbeck for my fodder hedge. I'm also thinking of adding siberian pea shrub. I know the peas are edible how about the leaves? This coupled with the other fodder trees I'm planting and the pasture mix of clovers and perennial alfalfa should keep my critters well fed and happy. 
 
Posts: 15
Location: Oklahoma City
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To the original poster.... I'd stay away from cedar.

Here in Oklahoma, cedar is actually a nuisance tree and being that they are everywhere can cause problems with your apples trees. Ever heard of Cedar Apple Rust?

http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/FactSheets/cedar-applerust/cedar-applerust.htm

Cedar-apple rust is one of several similar fungal diseases which could be broadly classified as Juniper-Rosaceous rusts. All of these rusts have similar disease cycles but differ in which juniper and rosaceous species they infect and in symptoms they cause on these hosts. All of these rust diseases are caused by fungi in the genus Gymnosporangium. Each species spends part of its life cycle on a juniper host and part on one or more hosts in the rose family, and require both hosts to complete their life cycles. Cedar-apple rust is caused by the fungus Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae. Two other common juniper-rosaceous rusts are hawthorn rust and quince rust, although there are many more.

Examples of juniper hosts include eastern red cedar, southern red cedar, Rocky Mountain juniper, some prostrate junipers, and Chinese juniper. Examples of rosaceous hosts are apple, crabapple, hawthorn, quince, serviceberry, and pear. Some commercial apple varieties are also highly susceptible to cedar-apple rust; fruit may infected by the fungus, and infected leaves may drop prematurely causing potentially severe defoliation.

 
            
Posts: 177
Location: California
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I'm interested in species hearty enough to be grazed directly, by goats specifically. Anyone have personal experience? Also, how long might it take for the hedge to establish itself sufficiently so that protective fencing can be taken down?
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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No goat experience.  Sites ive planted from cuttings in maritime humid temperate climates really pick up production in their 3rd or 4th year.  Production decreases was browse is repeated... I bet you'd get more per acre from rotational grazing with 1 rotation per year.  Allowing a long rest time.  An alternative is to keep the hedge behind fencing and either cut and carry, or allow the fence to define a limit to browsing.
 
Posts: 244
Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
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forest garden trees woodworking
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For those in the UK, the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers publish a great guide on hedge laying (I've actually been reading an edition first published in the 1970s recently). Linky.

It might be possible to obtain a similar publication over in the US although I'm not sure theres ever been a tradition of hedge laying outside of the UK.

The types of trees to use really depends on the local conditions where you want to create a new hedge as obviously some trees thrive in conditions where others don't. You also have to take into consideration the characteristics of each species; trees that are brittle tend not to be suitable for laying.

Some UK trees that are good for hedge laying in the correct conditions are (there are others that can be used, these are generally the best):

- Beech
- Blackthorn
- Crab Apple
- Elm
- Gorse
- Hawthorn
- Hazel
- Holly
- Hornbeam

Here are a few random links I pulled off Google:
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedge_laying
- www.woodlands.co.uk/blog/woodland-activities/how-to-lay-a-hedge/
- www.hedgelayer.freeserve.co.uk/
 
                                        
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I have a question about hedge fences....is it a good idea to use on small city plots...i worry that my space is too small and may cut off a lot of light to my veggies but really think they would benefit from the wind break...I live on a corner lot and my husband has been trying to convince me to keep propagating red hot fire pokers as a hedge around the property.  But I like the idea of mixing and having some edibles in there too.
 
              
Posts: 238
Location: swampland virginia
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sisterfearless wrote:
I have a question about hedge fences....is it a good idea to use on small city plots...i worry that my space is too small and may cut off a lot of light to my veggies but really think they would benefit from the wind break...I live on a corner lot and my husband has been trying to convince me to keep propagating red hot fire pokers as a hedge around the property.  But I like the idea of mixing and having some edibles in there too.


I'm thinking about using vetiver grass as a hedge. Grows 6-8 feet tall, roots go straight down, you can cut it with hedge clippers and use the trimmings as mulch. Has a lot of supposed great qualities, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Other thoughts Have been mulberries, as they are easy to bend, graft together, handle shade, have edible berries and leaves, i have access to lots of them in the yard... Not an evergreen, but might work well with a grass.
 
                                        
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what about some  of these as a mix for Oregon coast...current....blueberry....Oregon grape...evergreen huckleberry...apple and maybe a hazelnut???
 
Paul Cereghino
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Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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sisterfearless wrote:
what about some  of these as a mix for Oregon coast...current....blueberry....Oregon grape...evergreen huckleberry...apple and maybe a hazelnut???



Also consider our native hawthorne maybe from root cuttings.  Ribes(current) strikes well from cuttings.  Vaccinium are slow growing.  I love tall OR grape, both for bird berries and as a medicinal.
 
                    
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permaculture.dave wrote:
If visual screening or dust barrier is important your on the right track to include evergreens. If cedars and the other species seem to grow well together where you are, I'd say go for it.

I would also like to make a plug for Oikos Tree Crops (http://oikostreecrops.com/store/home.asp). These guys have awesome stuff. I just ordered some honeylocusts selected for pod production. The seed pods from the best ones are supposed to be a reasonable human food (according to Tree Crops by J. Russell Smith). In terms of forage for animals, the selected honeylocusts beat out oats as a forage crop in some trials. However, I don't know if I would count on honeylocust being a n-fixer. That is somewhat debatable. Either way, it can grow in tough, gnarly conditions.

Good luck!

Dave




tried em out due to your rec, pretty satisfied and a good price
 
                    
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great thread. i might have missed it but i havent seen too much discussion on spacing.

Also all the talk is about using them living. I know thats the title of the thread but are some species maybe better if killed? For instance if I used honey locust in a hedge with hawthorn, rose, and a few edibles like mulberry and hazel nut etc. the honey locust eventually will tower. They dont cast a dense shade. dead or alive they can provide a trellis.

It seems to me you idealy want less edible crops on the outside peaking in height in the middle (rose, haw, osage, locust, mulberry, filbert) of a 20 foot wide space and to come back down on the otherside with more edible hedge crops. this would provide edge on both sides and you could have some very low crops in the edible inside. thorns on outside.

This setup could probably be laid on the outside with less need for laying on the inside. i still feel like probably some of the locust should be offed to provide more light.

 
Posts: 85
Location: LAKE HURON SOUTHERN SHORE
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I'm quite sure that black locust is an excellent permaculture plant.  It's a nitorgen fixer that likes to share.  The leaves are small and tend to not smother little plants growing underneath.

I discovered by happy accident that black locust seems to improve the happiness of asperagus. I planted the asperagus patch east of a short row of Locusts and it is booming! woohoo love those happy accidents!
 
Posts: 183
Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
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Sepp Holzer suggests establishing a hedgerow atop a hugelkultur berm. Imagine the possibilities there!
 
Posts: 35
Location: eastern part of West Tennessee
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I don't know your location, but what is called 'cedar' trees here in the Mid-South are eastern red junipers. They often harbor a spore that causes 'cedar blight' in apples, so you might want to plant only resistant apples types, if you can find any, with your hedge. Also privits are now considered invasive around here and many parks have an eradication program to control their spread.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Paul Cereghino wrote:Also consider our native hawthorne maybe from root cuttings.



I took some hawthorne cuttings a few weeks ago and stuck them in an indoor aquaponics growbed. Low and behold I'm starting to get new green growth! Should I let them continue as is or move them to a pot? The light isn't great (it's at the back of a bed by a window sill). Can't plant outdoors for probably 4 months.
 
Posts: 2
Location: Sheboygan County Wisconsin
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Kinda new to the site. I was wondering if anyone knows if wild plumb can be cut like the traditional hedges 3/5 of the way through or will they just die from that. I have a stand of that and notice it seems to sucker fairly well.
 
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Collect the hedge apples (Osage orange fruit), and let it over winter out in the weather. In the spring mash the fruit up with water and make a soupy mess to pour in a line where you want your hedge row. would prolly be best to have the grass killed out first. PM me if you have more questions on this because we've been making osage hedge rows too.
 
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