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hedge plants - for a living fence and coppicing or laying a hedge

 
gardener
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I am in the process of growing an Osage Orange living fence across the front of our property. When done it will be almost 1000 feet in length. I get the seeds from a tree that is by the road on the way to our property, set them out to stratify over the winter then separate the seeds and plant them 12 inches apart. Out of every three "apples" I get around 100 viable seeds. It is not really hard but is time consuming to separate the seeds from the stratified fruits, they become soft and easy to break open when they are ready for seed separation. The alternate method is to chop them into sections with a machete and plant in shallow ditches. Either method works.
 
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Location: Carnation, WA (Western Washington State / Cascadia / Pacific NW)
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I ran across this hedge laying video "South of England Style" and thought it belonged here.



Oh, and this channel, Woodlands TV, has another one "Hedge Laying with bill hook:"



 
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Great idea but lost in this is the avocation of using Russian Olive as a fence.  It is a non-native, heavy invader of wetlands to the point where it out competes all tree species.  I see this missing in a lot permaculture ideas -  a lack of understanding natural balance with native plant communities.
 
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Thomas Adams wrote:
Great idea but lost in this is the avocation of using Russian Olive as a fence.  It is a non-native, heavy invader of wetlands to the point where it out competes all tree species.  I see this missing in a lot permaculture ideas -  a lack of understanding natural balance with native plant communities.



This thread might interest you, it's about native plants v. invasives in permaculture.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1793
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Thomas Adams wrote:
Great idea but lost in this is the avocation of using Russian Olive as a fence.  It is a non-native, heavy invader of wetlands to the point where it out competes all tree species.  I see this missing in a lot permaculture ideas -  a lack of understanding natural balance with native plant communities.



People keep talking about how invasive the Elaeagnus species are, but I just don't see it.  I have to take cuttings to propagate mine and I have never had a volunteer sprout up anywhere on my property.  
 
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Location: Shelby IN, USA. Zone 6a
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Any updates on the fence? I'd love to see pictures!

How long did it take from planting (seeds or whips) to something reasonably stock proof?
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Tansy Arron-Walker wrote:Any updates on the fence? I'd love to see pictures!

How long did it take from planting (seeds or whips) to something reasonably stock proof?


Welcome to permies, Tansy!

We don't have updates or pictures yet. Maybe someone else does on their hedge.

Last fall, Paul and I made progress on planting seeds. In the previous couple years I had purchased a couple small whips of hawthorns, to make a meager start, though they died in some drought seasons. Multiple factors contributed to our delays and those sad little lost trees. Ah well.

One thing we DID accomplish last year, which will help us nurture the hedge better, was to build 'tango trail' (a dry stack rock switchback foot path) plus another dirt, ramp-like trail to actually get down to where the first part of the hedge is. That was quite the project. Lots of hauling rocks. In any case, now, if we have drought conditions again, we can more easily take water down to any thirsty little tree and shrub starts.

base camp (where Paul and I live and where we're starting this hedge) is one of two properties that make up wheaton labs. base camp is about 20 acres and the second property is the lab which is over 200 acres and just down the road from base camp. base camp is a hilly ROCKY place with thin topsoil over the rocks.

In my enthusiasm to contribute to our burgeoning project, I have bought and planted a lot of trees and shrubs, besides the hawthorns, and many of them have died due to the poor soil conditions and unseasonable weather, among other things; plus me biting off more than I could chew. We're building soil and having more and more success each year though, and I'm learning about my limits, so that's all encouraging.

 
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Celeste Solum wrote:I can't recall which one but BBC had a series on farming in the 1600-1700's and they would use living hedges/fences and waddle them with flexible trees such as alder, but it can be anything really.  It was fascinating.



There have been a few along these lines. I suspect you are wanting the following (all by the same people, for the most part):
[2005] Tales from the Green Valley
[2009] Victorian Farm <--- I think from memory this is the specific series you need
[2010] Edwardian Farm
[2012] Wartime Farm
[2013] Tudor Monastery Farm
 
pollinator
Posts: 405
Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
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Has anyone tried the salix purpurea strain of willow?  They are supposed to be so bitter animals won't eat them.purple willow
 
gardener & author
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I read an English book about hedges recently. They recommended 90% hawthorn or blackthorn with 10% other plants to make a stockproof hedge. They were probably limited to plants known over there, and may not have known about black locust and others you've mentioned.
 
gardener
Posts: 497
Location: St Paul, MN/Tularosa, NM and now a gapper at Wheaton Labs
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After seeing how jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) was growing and coppicing in New Mexico, i would add it to the list.
 
pollinator
Posts: 241
Location: Dolan Springs, AZ 86441
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Does anyone know about Desert Southwest (Northern Arizona @ 3400  feet elevation, 7" annual rain) plants that can be used for making a living Fence/hedgerow?

What is the expense breakdown vs the common 5-wire barbed wire fence? or would I need both? I have about 1662 linear feet all told, not counting any gates I might want.

I was thinking of trying Ochatilla and weaving a fence from that. Of course, everything grows very slowly here, except for about 2-3 months in the spring.

Water is also pretty scarce. It costs me $100 per 1500 gallons to have it trucked in. I'm on a rectangular 3.66 acres and the water tank is at almost the highest point on the property. The property is in the Open Range area.

I would probably start on the south side (481 feet) and then work my way around to the west end (300-foot road frontage), north, and finally the east side of the property. The South and North fence lines might also work to break the near-constant wind just a little, although the north side of the property is about 10 feet (max) lower than the south fence. An east-west running ridge separates the two long sides.

Any suggestions would be welcomed, as I don't have any experience with this process at this point. Thanks.
 
Posts: 138
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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Thomas Adams wrote:
Great idea but lost in this is the avocation of using Russian Olive as a fence.  It is a non-native, heavy invader of wetlands to the point where it out competes all tree species.  I see this missing in a lot permaculture ideas -  a lack of understanding natural balance with native plant communities.


    My suspicion is that very degraded/stressed soils sometimes just can’t support the plants that have been living there, or the soils get to a point where they are ready to start going to regrowth forest, and the “invasive” plants like Russian Olive, blackberry, and sea buckthorn set the stage for succession towards a climax ecosystem.
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