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Black locust vs goumi vs sea berry for nitrogen fixation

 
Posts: 39
Location: Central Virginia, USA
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I am currently ready to plant fruit trees. I have watched the Permculture Orchard video and I am a big fan of what Stefan has accomplished. I want to use some of his ideas and plant nitrogen fixers next to each fruit tree. I am currently trying to decide whether to use black locust or some other nitrogen fixer such as sea Berry or goumi.

On the surface black locust makes sense since they do well in the area (central Virginia) and I have abundant seedlings from areas that were disturbed during the construction of my home. I had thought that I would have to bring in locusts, since all of my mature trees were dead from being shaded out by the taller oaks, maples and hickories (my property is a well established Forest with hardwood that was select cut 10 years ago). However, I now have plenty of seedlings that I could transplant (free trees). Goumi so are very expensive and seaberries are not easy to get especially if you want any type of good flavor.

My main concern with planting black locust is the fact they they may be too aggressive and end up being a maintenance headache to keep them in check. Shading them out is not possible since Mold and mildew is a serious problem here and if I want to avoid or minimize those issues, my food Forest/orchard must be able to breathe. For that I need space between my trees. I am not concerned with the throns since the local variety of black locust is not overly thorny. Has anyone attempted the same for their orchard or food Forest? What is your experience with black locust or goumi or sea Berry? Thanks so much!

Diego
 
Posts: 529
Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
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Why not a little of everything? Diversity is king here!!! I would look at purchasing a couple each of different varieties of the goumi and seaberry, then propagate them through cuttings and seed collecting. In the meantime utilize all of those free black locust seedlings to get things started, after all the price is right on those bad boys! As things progress you can cut and mulch the black locust out of the picture and replace with other legumes for your system. I've been able to eradicate black locust seedlings within one season by multiple cuttings/mowings.
 
Diego de la Vega
Posts: 39
Location: Central Virginia, USA
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Dave Dahlsrud wrote:Why not a little of everything? Diversity is king here!!! I would look at purchasing a couple each of different varieties of the goumi and seaberry, then propagate them through cuttings and seed collecting. In the meantime utilize all of those free black locust seedlings to get things started, after all the price is right on those bad boys! As things progress you can cut and mulch the black locust out of the picture and replace with other legumes for your system. I've been able to eradicate black locust seedlings within one season by multiple cuttings/mowings.



Good idea. I agree. Thinking more ant it, could always use the black locust as kindling and firewood if it gets out of control. Since I have to cut firewood anyway, it would really not add any work to my day.
 
Posts: 1444
Location: Fennville MI
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There you go, Diego Think in terms of stacking functions and utilizing the products of your food forest to greatest advantage
 
Posts: 2
Location: Indiana, USA
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I just found this forum through Google looking up companion guilds.
I really like the idea of keeping the Black Locus till something better comes along. This is what I'm doing actually!.. Well, with the Redbuds and Bayberry shrubs anyways.
I'm in zone 5 and Black Locus are extremely hardy, just an amazing tree all-round! Just an FYI you can graft or propagate the upper (past 5 scaffolding) branches and to produce thornless hybrids. I tried it last year with great outcome! I'm attempting to be as natural and native as I can for Central Indiana so I keep the natural thorns tho. They are great fuel wood aswell (since you have woods and maybe a wood-stove or fireplace).
 
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+++ for diversity.

Another source for cheap trees is the thornless honey locust. So far (fingers crossed) mine are still thornless.

Pods make great feed for many animals (cows, pigs, goats, rabbits) or good mulch.

Good firewood, reproduce easily (yes, they are also spreaders similar to black locust)

Lots of sources for seed. I got mine on ebay...
 
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