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fence with living trees and poles between the trees  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Doug Bullock was talking about a fence where there are living trees every fifteen feet and you would pollard the trees and put all the poles between the trees - usually 30+ foot poles that would reach three trees and thus be pinned in without any lashing or nails. 

The horizontal poles would rot before the living tree would start to grow around the pole. 

Doug mentioned there is a polish word for this technique.  I want to put it out there:  anybody know what that polish name is?

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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similar to an idea i had suggested to a poster just this past week..only i suggested (they couldn't afford expensive fence posts) that they go ahead and get the cheapest fence posts that they could afford and put them in with no worries..as long as they planted trees between the posts..preferably a fast growing tree, outside of the fencing wire. That way by the time the cheapo posts started to rot and fall down..the trees would be large enough to take the wire..stapled or fastened to the trees ..eliminating the worry for the fencing..also there could be lots of cuttings of thorny shrubs or berry bearing shrubs put between the trees along the fenceline as well for forage...so when they grow up they would hang over into the fencing area and provide some forage..not good for electrical fence though
 
Aljaz Plankl
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Thanks on info Paul. Nice idea.

Brenda, beside what you've mentioned i'm adding plum trees and similar. Throwing lots of seeds where you want the fence. They grow really well together forming a dense thorny fence.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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i have some wild plum trees along one of my fencerows..babies..but also we had some top grafts die on some peach trees in a particularly bad winter..and when i pulled out the trees i replanted the rootstock on the woodsy edge, and it survived..probably some type of wild plum but i don't know..just wait to see what it forms..but i figured even if it only provides wildlife forage, it is something green and growing and with all the acerage we have that needs plants..esp the hedgerows..and edges..i'd take a chance on them..can always cut them down for firewood later
 
                              
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I really like the belgian fence espaliar design...
http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&rlz=1C1RNCN_enUS323US323&q=BELGIAN+FENCE&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=Vk5fTNziEoP98AbfmunqCQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CDAQsAQwAw&biw=1280&bih=837

im actually planning on creating one this fall with 8 apple trees. i hope to 4 different varieties with dwarf root stock and plant 2 of each.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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espeliar fences are gorgeous and quite productive..however..if used with most animals the animals will destroy them..so it really depens on the use..they are generally  used to edge a garden plot area..or in a very small urban area..and are wonderful for those uses.

i'm sure that with goats or even cattle, they would not live very long.
 
Brenda Groth
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another really beautiful living fence is when you plant your trees and stake them on a 45 degree angle..either all one direction or crossing like an x..to form a fence..you can use a lot of tree types or shrubs to form these fences which will last forever..
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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An old technique of hedging is "cut and laid" in which upright branches are partially cut through and bent over at an angle (not entirely horizontal).  Stakes are woven through the laid branches.    One style of this kind of hedge is known as "Bullock." 

http://www.hedgelaying.org.uk/styles.htm
 
Charlie Michaels
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Brenda Groth wrote:
another really beautiful living fence is when you plant your trees and stake them on a 45 degree angle..either all one direction or crossing like an x..to form a fence..you can use a lot of tree types or shrubs to form these fences which will last forever..


That sounds like a great idea. What species do you think would be suitable for this creation? Also do you think there is a possibility that the trees would be too weak from leaving over completely to one side?
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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seeing as how a lot of plants can be grown from cuttings during the late fall and early winter..i was thinking..could you just cut branches from a lot of different shrubs and trees and push them into the soil along your hedgerow (future) line and allow them to root and grow during the winter, there might be some loss to browsing of rabbits and such, but I was thinking that this might get a good start on a hedgerow..esp if you were to use willow which grows nicely over the winter.

i'm thinking of trying this with some of my shrubs and trees. ..

i read thru the article but they really didn't tell, or i didn't see, how they got the original hedges planted..what they used if it was cuttings or already rooted plants.
 
                          
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Location: Bozeman, MT
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I found a great book when I was wanting to learn more about hedgerows, had to order mine from the UK amazon.com. Hedges and Hedgelaying by Murray Maclean. They have one copy at our amazon http://www.amazon.com/Hedges-Hedgelaying-Planting-Management-Conservation/dp/1861268688

While some of the plant varieties are not available in my area, I researched similar plants to incorporate into what we want for a hedge. He covers some of the information about certain tree or shrub varieties that if you plant the limbs, they will sprout and make a living fence, such as willow.
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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I believe there's a chap who posts on here from Costa Rica, so he may be able to speak to this with more knowledge than I have.

anyhow: in Costa Rica, I saw an awful lot of living fence posts.  it looked to me like a tree would be pollarded about four feet high, then the long straight poles that were cut off were cut into fence posts and spaced maybe ten feet apart.  those posts would root and sprout and then be pollarded in turn when they were large enough.  the resulting poles were used for new fence, or to fill in the existing fence.  barbed wire was stapled to these living fence posts, and I imagine that by the time it rusted away, there would be enough posts to keep livestock in.  these fences were containing cattle, as far as I could tell.

I don't know what the species was, as I'm rather ignorant of Central American flora, but I suspect there are species that will work for a similar fence most places.  I've just started trying this out with black locust where I'm at (danger! danger!), for example, with promising results so far.  might not grow in as fast as in the tropics, but I bet it will work.

Brenda Groth: I think your idea is worth a shot.  not all trees are going to root very well, but at the very least willows will work.  other species might root better at different times of year, too.
 
                          
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Location: Zone 5a (Canada)
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a really nice online book about (uk) hedges, and how to design, lay, maintain and restore them. It also includes types of trees and what they're good for (stock proof, boundary, shelter etc)

http://handbooks.btcv.org.uk/handbooks/index/book/6

A must for anyone who wants to grow a hedge in a damp mild climate
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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ceog, some interesting information..thanks
 
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