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Planting trees in grazing area

 
Matt Banchero
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I'm working on my PDC design project. We want to establish many hundreds if not thousands of young trees across 55 acres of grazing land. The problem is...it's grazing land. I had originally thought that we could use heavy gauge welded wire and T-stakes as a physical barrier but the cost will soon become prohibitive and it wont be the most beautiful design with all of the wire cages everywhere. Anyone with real experience have any input?

We want to plant out Black Oak, Valley Oak, White Oak, Blue Oak, hazel nut, elderberry and black walnut trees. Some of these trees may take years to reach a point where they will be relatively safe from sheep browsing and rubbing.

Thanks!!!
 
Dave Dahlsrud
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Location: North-Central Idaho
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If you do paddock shift grazing in that pasture using electric fencing you'll easily be able to keep the livestock out of the trees until they get established. This will of course have to be taken into account when you go to plant the trees maybe something like planting on contour with wide grazing lanes in between plantings. If you had a deep desire to have a somewhat random planting in there here and there you could resort to the T-Post/cage set up you talked about, on a much smaller scale.
 
Kelly Smith
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Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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i believe spacing wide enough to allow animals to graze in between the trees - with electric wire to protect the trees while animals are there.

assumptions -
planting trees on contour
no set stocking
portable water of some sort

darren daugherty mentions this type of system a lot.

good luck
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Hau, Matt. What size trees will you be planting? What animals will you be grazing?

The main species you mention will all do best when planted around 20 feet apart (when they mature they will need the space so they don't injure each other in winds) the elderberry can be clumped in plantings with a space of around 5 ft. between trunks.
Black Walnut likes its space so those will do best with 30 feet between.

As Dave and Kelly have mentioned, you will need to be able to move the animals from area to area. The main period for protection will be dependent on how old the trees are when transplanted into the paddock areas.
 
Ed Sitko
Posts: 44
Location: Bitterroot
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That many trees one would think you also cut swales on contour and are planting the trees downslope from the swale berm - yes?
If so you need to also keep the animals off the swale and berm to prevent compaction.
Step in posts and hot wire should suffice for now. In time you can move the hot wire to the trees.
 
chad Christopher
Posts: 290
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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The most important variable is what livestock is grazing? What type of trees? And where are you? Look into Sepp's bone sauce. Plant distraction vegetation and fodder, forage crops. A well fed animal shouldn't mess with your trees. Go remove some nasty invasive and wrap your cages in them, or.. scatter around as forage, hopefully your animals will develop a taste for invasives. Edit: you listed trees you would like to plant, but where, and in what guilds and patterns.
 
Rob Browne
Posts: 65
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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Think about alley grazing with hot wires to keep the stock out of the tree lines.
 
chad Christopher
Posts: 290
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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I think the key word/s is soon. Find a park, farm, or anywhere, that needs cleaning of invasive thornys. Have the city pay for the removal to your site. You did them a favor, right? Make thorny rubbish piles around the property. Look into hedge laying, maybe work that biomass into a similar organic solution
 
chad Christopher
Posts: 290
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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Some may say, nature fences are not applicable to that large of an area, I recently made a 5 a
Multi flora rose pile 4 acres round, in one day with 7 people.
 
Matt Banchero
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I think I'm going to propose a couple different methods. Along the swales, where we have a line of trees it makes sense to fence these areas off for a few years to let the trees get established. But we are also trying to establish an Oak Savanna with broad spacing over large areas. Individual trees will need to be caged. By my numbers it's almost $20 a cage for the materials, but if we spread the planting out over a decade, some of those cages can be reused.

I like the idea of using bone sauce or eggs or any of the follky methods for preventing browsing, but I wonder if the repeated applications make this less economic in the long term? I also question how effective they will be if 30 sheep are penned in with the young trees for 24-48 hours. It's not just the browsing, rubbing is a major concern as well.

Thanks for the input my permie people...
 
Mike Turner
Posts: 309
Location: Upstate SC
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I'm converting part of my sheep pasture into a honey locust savanna. I keep the trees in the nursery bed until they get over 7 feet high before transplanting them into the pasture (sheep browse up to about 4 feet high). No trees lost to sheep browsing so far in 2 seasons of transplanting trees out into the pasture.
 
Ray Moses
Posts: 74
Location: Brighton, Michigan
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I have plantations in my cattle pastures and I simply just have to fence those off to get the trees establish there's no other way around it. A couple strands of high tensile. I an going to try three stakes and barbed wire and see if that will hold up to the cattle. I have tree tubes or use window screening around my trees and that is a magnet for the livestock, they come right over and knock it right down.
 
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