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Help me design my living fence  RSS feed

 
author
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Another fedge picture
DSC02723.JPG
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Fedge as a perimeter fence - this has grown well and filled in perfectly in a couple of years
 
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I'm in the process of planting my own living fence. Two years ago, I planted a stand of rugosa rose and last year I put in some holly. I have eleven hawthorn seedlings to go in this year. Also, I'm planning on putting in a row of blackberries with thorns. There is a planting of wormwood and sweet Annie as an understory to all.
 
pollinator
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Wow Jenni, those are beautiful.  I expect mine will be more functional than beautiful

Mary, please post pictures if you have some.  I would love to see yours too.  I have rugosa rose if a different area that may get moved and incorporated into my fence after I get the tree species in.
 
m c nestor
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I'm sorry that I do not currently have any pictures but I will take some later this year when things have started popping.
 
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Location: Rainy Cold Temperate Harz Mountains Germany 450m South Facing River Valley
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Hi
Im instaling living fences this year too. Ive got a length of willow and rose planted and woven. I found that even though they are only woven and tied with elastic they are kid and dog proof.I guess the visual barrier is enough. After putting in the rose hedge i decided no more thorny plants. They need yearly tending and one in a lifetime to be cut to the ground and re woven. The thorns make that very unpleasant. I will be laying hedges around the perimeter to keep out wild pigs and dead hedging any bare areas untill the young trees grow in. The layed hedges are less work. I would expect every three to five years going through and layering anything arm thick. I have also put in apple and redcurrants in different espalier styles for interior borders but they need twice yearly trimming. I used tall thin wood piles in some places as dividers because its a double function and I need somewhere to dry out First year firewood. Hazel, willow, wild cherry, hawthorn, Yew, ash and beech are all relativly fast growing plants that produce something usefull for your layed hedges. Mulberry,yew,lingustra and elderberry are also able to be woven into a living fence according to people ive spoken with at the tree nursery. Il post some pictures this weekend keep me updated please all found online about espaliers (not against a wall) and other living fences were vague and mostly willow or apple id love to know what did and didn´t work out for you.    
 
Todd Parr
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Taryn, I would love to see more examples, thanks.
 
gardener
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I'm wondering how beefy a barricade you can get from elderberries and hazelnuts?  They grow well here, can handle some shade and give yummy food.  But I think they tend to be multi-stemmed bushes.  Do you just count on the density/bushiness of the shrub to keep out invaders?  Or do you prune them down to a linear row of stems and weave them together?  

In my fence locations, a bushy barrier is ok but if I could get it into a narrower band it could work better.
 
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Taryn Hesse wrote: I have also put in apple and redcurrants in different espalier styles for interior borders but they need twice yearly trimming.



I'd love to see pics of this!

 
pollinator
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I don't know the English names, and maybe those are not native in the USA, but here thorny hedges are made of Crataegus monogyna and Prunus spinoza (together with blackberries)
 
Rez Zircon
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Interesting article on nitrogen fixers -- pic of one coppiced with kale -- some good suggestions for a living fence. Native or non-native noted.
http://www.perennialsolutions.org/all-nitrogen-fixers-are-not-created-equal

An article on the many uses of caragana:
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Caragana_arborescens.html
 
Taryn Hesse
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Hi
The hazel and willow are wild trees that were on my property they get about wrist thickness before i want to lay them. they grow much faster than the nut producing cultivars. They are thinner, but you get a decent thickness because they send up lots of laterals. The elderberries are very thin and not being layed. I will be putting them in as a woven barrier where the holes are too small for dogs and kids to pass through. Then, once the weaving is tied together like a trellis,    Iwill put all of the laterals through the gaps to make it hopefully a snow proof parking tunnel. Unlike willow and hazel they can tolerate being planted in drier spots like my parking lot. The stems are by age between willow and rose thickness. I have a 16th century house that tourists go hiking past so the front garden is getting fancy treatment to bring people into the kiosk for drinks and souviners. I think there are more work and time efficient ways it takes a long time for elderberries to grow. Il have time to take some photos tomorrow im not at home right now.
 
Todd Parr
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Taryn Hesse wrote:Hi
The hazel and willow are wild trees that were on my property they get about wrist thickness before i want to lay them. they grow much faster than the nut producing cultivars. They are thinner, but you get a decent thickness because they send up lots of laterals. The elderberries are very thin and not being layed. I will be putting them in as a woven barrier where the holes are too small for dogs and kids to pass through. Then, once the weaving is tied together like a trellis,    Iwill put all of the laterals through the gaps to make it hopefully a snow proof parking tunnel. Unlike willow and hazel they can tolerate being planted in drier spots like my parking lot. The stems are by age between willow and rose thickness. I have a 16th century house that tourists go hiking past so the front garden is getting fancy treatment to bring people into the kiosk for drinks and souviners. I think there are more work and time efficient ways it takes a long time for elderberries to grow. Il have time to take some photos tomorrow im not at home right now.



That sounds fantastic.  I can't wait to see it.
 
Taryn Hesse
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Hi the first fence i put in is a willow privacy screen and a saftey barrier because there is a stone wall that drops about a meter and a half where i have my scrap metal and renovation trash (hopefully gone by fall). Which will be a compost area to heat the barn and potentially a worm farm.
willow-fence-first-year-full-length.jpg
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Taryn Hesse
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The next fence was a rose fence that has less structure. I wove it only to really make a trellis All of the laterals and shoots from the ground will be woven in without any pattern. All of the fencing will be grown to two meters to make outdoor rooms with fencing you cannot see over.
length-of-rose-fence-from-parkinglot.jpg
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Taryn Hesse
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Im currently planting a long willow fence that has a section of tunnel and 3 domes for a seating area It is marked and half cleared but not yet planted. it forms one continuous fence on the right side facing the house.
begining-of-entry-way-willow-fence.jpg
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i highlighted the stringline it was ard to see
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three domes are planned
 
Taryn Hesse
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i put in a small apple espalier division 1 meter high and have plans to put in a red currant espalier along a foot path to border a play area. and a belgian fence of yew between the parking lot and play area, but cuttings are better taken when its warmer outside and have new growth so maybe in the next two months i will take cuttings and transplant them when they have roots. I have a few small redcurrants with roots i will put in next week.
Apple-espalier-full-length-with-string-line.jpg
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it has started to leaf out already
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the x within an oval will be the pattern for the currant espalier with a small gate in the middle
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the straw bales mark the parkinglot and the foot path in front of the solar panels
 
Taryn Hesse
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The wood stack divisions make a sun trap il be planting fruit trees against and drying out first year fire wood. the area behind the solar panels is a small winter garden for the plants i start early or need extra attention or need extra heat.
pathway-to-be-bordered-with-redcurrants.jpg
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behind the panels and to the left are wooden frames for stacking firewood and a suntrap
 
Taryn Hesse
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I can post some more pictures of the laying\ deadhedging and the elderberrie tunnels as i put them in and make some drawings on how they should grow in. right now i am clearing out the unusuable trees and filling in the gaps along the perimeter fence. i do have some pictures of the trees im keeping if you were wondering how wild hazels grow in but the scale is hard to see. some laterals are thick as my arm some my wrist and most are shovel handle thickness but they can twist a bit as you lay them so even though the crown of the bush is round you can lay the laterals straight enough.
 
pollinator
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I see espaliers and Belgian fences have come up again.

Check this out - the museum garden of Gaasbeek castle has a lot of styles and examples. The espalier and fruit collection is one of the largest in the world.

http://www.kasteelvangaasbeek.be/en/park-and-gardens
http://www.kasteelvangaasbeek.be/de/park-und-museumsgarten

 
Taryn Hesse
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hi
cool link. my house was build 1650 or so. its the style i was going for.
 
Todd Parr
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Taryn, I would love to see more pictures, thanks.
 
Todd Parr
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I decided to continue my willow plantings before adding other species.  I added 150 new ones yesterday at about 6 inch spacing.  If they live, I'll post pictures of them when they leaf out.
 
garden master
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I have been working on installing a hedge that is meant for privacy and security along a portion of my property. First I built a hugelkultur bed because the area was very hard and compacted and I wanted to break through that layer and give the plants space. This also created a decent size mound that helps to keep people from trying to go through it. So far I have planted seaberry (has thorns and is a nitrogen fixer), blue elderberry, service berry and red flowering currents in the top of the mound. These were planted fairly dense and should create a good barrier that would be difficult to get through especially as I prune them to make sure it forms a thick barrier. On the lower end of the mound (south side) right along the bottom I'm planting things like lavender that will get decent size and woody enough to be not easy to get through. Above the lavender but below the taller shrubs on the south side I have been planting lupines (nitrogen fixing) and various edible perennials (sea kale, Turkish rocket, wild strawberries). On the north side of the mound I'm going to plant evergreens that like shade that will help ensure I have some winter privacy. Since it is about 5 feet wide and with the various layers of plants I think in a few years it will be grown up enough to block larger animals and any person who was not really committed to getting through - in the end it would be a lot easier to just climb over my gate. Right now the plants are all small but I will take some pics as it grows and as I continue to add more plants to it to post here. The bed is about 136 feet in length and mostly runs west to east with a small part going south to north.
 
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James Freyr wrote:I would give the wild blackberries a go. Thorns are really good at keeping humans out, and for dogs, it may depend on thickness of their coat, but if the blackberries were so dense and it was an impenetrable thicket, it may not matter. I just like the idea of a human/dog barrier fence also providing food.



The problem with blackberries is the canes die off each year and new growth appears, so until they're pretty old they might only work during the growing season. It depends on how thick you can get them to grow.

Also, they have a tendency to spread where you don't want them, so you have to be willing to keep putting them back up on a trellis or fence. I thought they would make a great living fence - until I actually helped out on an organic blackberry farm for a few years during the time you have to put the new canes up on a fence. Treacherous work with the thorned types.  
 
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Hi, I am in a zone 3-4. We are in alkaline soil in southeast Idaho. My favorite living fence plants are riverbank willows and cottonwoods. It sounds like you want something with a painful component as well and I think you are on the right track with the wild roses and black locust for sure. I think the biggest pain in keeping a living fence going is the grooming you do twice a year. If you are using prickly plants it becomes hard to get yourself to go in and tend to it. I would maybe start with a small food hedge to get some practice before starting on the pricklies? It is sometimes hard to get the bottom of the hedge to fill in completely because all of the small branches are growing at the top of the tree or shrub, not at the bottom. To fix this plant very thickly...but then you can't do as much shaping. It is an interesting hobby and really the only way to figure it out for your property is to just jump in and try multiple methods all at the same time and see which you like best. Here is a link to my video talking about living fence.
 
Todd Parr
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Juli Anne, thanks for the video.  I'd love to see more pictures of it growing.

More than half my willows were leafed out 6 days after planting.  I'll be checking them again tonight.
 
Taryn Hesse
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Hi
Im back with some more pictures. we have a work\music week with projects and workshops and music so ive had heaps of help with the fencing. Here are some pictures. weve been dead hedging along about 200 meters of old half broken fencing. we have layed the few trees that were standing and the new hedge trees are waiting in water or to be dug out still. we went through over 15 cubic meters of sticks and twigs  and havent even filled it to the two meter height yet or the last 100 meters. thats a lot of twigs. The parking lot is huge now and I think I can plant the elderberry rows for the planned tunnels by fall, Ive been collecting some small trees. we started to get below freezing nights again so i havent put in the willow tunnel yet and only a few plants are put around the domes in the seating area. I didn´t realise how much distance there was and how few willow whips I had to work with. So, I replanned the seating area to be planted with forsythia, lilac and a third type of tree I havent decided on yet. As soon as it warms up a bit il be planting the redcurrants. They struck roots in plain water so i think i will just poke some cuttings in the earth and keep some on reserve in water.
fence-before-shot.jpg
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what it used to look like
 
Taryn Hesse
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Its wonderfull now when everything still looks brown. The tourists cant slow down and look in on the campers as if they were at the zoo and i don´t have to look at a broken fence every day. over the next few years it will fill in and just look like  standard hedge in summer and like basket weaving in winter. Then i can take out the old fence from behind and sell it for scrap metal.
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there are a few binders for the top leaning against the fence
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still need to be cleaned up at the break
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it goes slower than you would think
 
Taryn Hesse
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whoops posted the wrong file for the last photo
work-in-progress.jpg
[Thumbnail for work-in-progress.jpg]
 
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https://permies.com/t/12807/Belgian-fence  My thinking is that the Belgian fence approach probably produces an effective barrier faster than the British 'laid hedge" approach.  Imagine a lattice of seabuckthorn - there might be some holes to clamber through, but with those thorns, would you really want to? Run a second row of black locust, offset from the seaberry and also trained into the Belgian fence, and I think you would have a pretty effective barricade and pretty quickly.  Plus food producing, nitrogen fixing and bee feeding
 
Taryn Hesse
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Hi Peter Ellis
I think your completely right. I have most of the interior fences planned in thinner faster growing patterns with more purposefull plants like fruit trees etc.. The perimeter fence needs to be wild boar proof not to mention the tourists sometimes drive too fast and end up in the fence! (BTW leaving kids toys along the road slows a lot of them down) the thickness is what I am after. I am using the two kilometer perimeter fence for firewood harvesting in the distant future when its grown in. I also like that you can´t see throught it in every season because tourists stop and stare into the campground like it were a zoo pen. The forest is mostly pine trees and I like having a big mix of deciduous trees to re-seed them in the area. now, there is only ash willow and beech growing in the forest and it is 90 percent pines. And, lastly, its fun to show the technique off because the fence mtches a style from the era that the house was built in. Its a theme for tourism to bring people into the kiosk and my house across the street from the campground.
 
Taryn Hesse
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hi Peter Ellis
I think if security were my purpose i would plant faster growing and thorny plants. I have  rose hedge around the trash aginst racoons and that was enough for my hands to be full of tiny cuts and thorns. I couldn´t imagine tending two k´s of agressivly thorny plants, i might leave myself!
 
Taryn Hesse
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Hi
its been a month and I made more pictures of the progress. I took a few weeks off ( I had a healthy baby boy!) and am easing back into work. here are some more photos.
blood-hazel-hedge-just-planted.jpg
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I put in three meters of blood hazel for laying. blood hazel has silver bark and dark purple leaves that turn bright red in fall and make pink nuts
 
Taryn Hesse
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The forsythia dome (really a half circle of sticks at the moment)  is leafing out and all of them took. i put some pencil thick sticks in the ground and in water and took some cuttings with heels and they all took.
forsythia-dome-leafing-out.jpg
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the leaves fell off but then grew back
forsythia-striking-roots-in-water.jpg
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I left them in the sun to be warmer
rooting-heel-forsythia.jpg
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heels made a larger root cluster
 
Taryn Hesse
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I think its too hot to plant out more willow whips so im sticking to plants with roots already formed till next spring but i will probably try to put in a length near the river.
willow-fence-side-view-(2).jpg
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Looking good so far only one whip is definitly dead maybe three others but the stem is still green so il give it more time
laid-hedge-willow-leafing-out.jpg
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most whips look like this
willow-fence-making-new-laterals.jpg
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some branches dont seem effected at all from being cut off
 
Taryn Hesse
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the rose fence looks pretty sad but the stems are mostly still green so il give it more time
rose-hedge-maybe-dead.jpg
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rose-hedge-maybe-still-alive.jpg
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Taryn Hesse
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The layed hedge looks great! only one died and most were not even set back! ive been transplanting all of the saplings displaces by the other beds ive been establishing and putting them in at a meters distance from the last tree. I think it might bee a full visual barrier in three years if the weather is on my side.
layed-green-maple.jpg
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laid-hedge-willow-leafing-out.jpg
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Taryn Hesse
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The area to plant the elderberry tunnels isn´t cleared yet but the stems i collected from a neighbour are taking in a bucket of water i left in the sun. The bucket even froze one night and is still going. the longest roost are the nodes just above the water level but its making roots the whole way down. the stems are as thick as my thumbs to thinner than a pencil and the cuttings with heels are seemingly just as good as the straight ones.
elderberry-rooting-in-water.jpg
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finger-thick-elderberry-water-rooting.jpg
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Taryn Hesse
Posts: 76
Location: Rainy Cold Temperate Harz Mountains Germany 450m South Facing River Valley
5
bike food preservation forest garden solar woodworking
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The suntrap is underway but i havent planted the fruit trees against it yet (I need to cage in the stones and firewood so they don´t get pinched by campers anymore). but my grape survived! and i had a pleasant surprise this spring too. The dead hedge is only a month old but i found a native hops growing next to it. I havent seen any in the forest so it must have been brought in by a bird or a car. anyway it will soon be growing up one of the walls on the house or barn. Il post any updates as i get things done.
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really useful plant turned up along the deadhedge
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despite a brutal transplant in high summer from a half dead discount plant its still goin
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Im almost a bit sad to lay these trees to the ground this year they are so pretty
 
pollinator
Posts: 2128
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
90
forest garden trees urban
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Thank you for sharing your work. It's very inspirational!
 
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