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1200' of seed planted fruit trees-need help

Posts: 202
cattle forest garden trees
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I have a fence line 1200' long with field fence where the grass isn't cut close to the fence. I want to plant this whole fence line with fruit tree seeds and see what I can get. Only caveat is whatever I plant can't hurt cattle (neighbor has cattle directly on other side, i Wil have mine on my side too)

-Eat more fruit and save seeds, try for lots of varities
-Plant seeds near fence so they don't get mowed down during hay periods.
-plant lots of seeds, assuming fallout
-dont water, what lives, lives
-dont sweat the details and enjoy what happens. Excess or junk fruit goes to chickens or composting

-how close to the fence should I plant?
-should I bury an apple core with seeds or just seeds?
-how deep to bury? Any amendments?
-how far apart to plant trees
-should I rotate types or just go willy nilly and plant whatever I have that day?
-can I plant anytime during the year since I am going for volume of opportunities

Thanks. I am planning a permaculture Orchard as part of my design class project, in there I will be more specific and results. For this I just want to fill in a fence line with as much food as possible
Posts: 493
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You will likely get better results if you make a small nursery and start your seeds in a protected weed free environment.
You can transplant them easily in their first or second year.
Posts: 476
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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Definitely transplant and use protectors -- cattle will happily eat every fruit tree leaf they can reach, so if it's not over 6', you may have nothing left.
Posts: 5376
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I recommend planting far enough from the fence so that when the trees mature they don't overhang the neighbor's property. Too hard to pick fruit that overhangs the fence. If you eventually decide to feed the dropping apples to pigs or chickens, it would be a shame if half of your harvest was unavailable because of a fence. And the neighbor's in 20 years may not appreciate apples falling on their property. And then I'd like to see a lane between the fence and the apples so that fence maintenance can be done with common equipment such as a tractor or truck. So say 15 feet for the spread of the tree, and 10 feet for the maintenance lane. Therefore I'd recommend planting a row of trees 25 feet from the fenceline unless that encroaches on a utility or other easement. While the trees are young, you can continue to harvest hay from both sides of the trees.

Cattle in a fruit orchard pretty much means that the fruit orchard will get eaten up.
alex Keenan
Posts: 493
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I have seen trees in a cattle field but only with protection around the trunk as others have said.
If you have to put protection around them. Why not spread them out in the field to provide summer shade.
In the heat of summer a shaded cow is a happy cow.
So long as they are spread apart enough you should get nice shading.
Also how about black walnuts. I find that if you have the right climate they kill off or retard a number of weeds but some good grazing grasses like black walnut.
Your black walnut would be money in the bank long term. It is a valuable timber crop.
That is one thing to consider.
Also watch for stone fruit. Leaves can be toxic to cattle when they freeze in late fall.
There are a few other trees that can be toxic to horses and cattle.
Posts: 6686
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Fruit trees and cattle can mix but normally only when the trees are mature will they survive well. If planting young tress or direct seeding, I would put up a second fence while the trees are growing up, then upon them getting large enough you can take the second fence down.

The following URL is an extensive listing of plants and trees that are toxic to cattle and other livestock. toxic to cattle
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