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Ross Raven
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I hate giving survival advice that I haven't proven over several years...but once again, I am problem solving. Permaculture means feeding the soil instead of just taking from it. Thus, animals and their management. Food comes out. Poop has to go back in. Animal management means keeping them where they can do the most good and keeping them out of your hard work that they will trash. Unless you are willing to be a 24\7 hearder...that means fencing...and expensive fencing material isn't going to be around forever. It may be around but lest say you cant afford it. So, what to do? Fencing has become ....top level survival information that we need to figure out.

A few of my friends, independently, started doing traditional woven fences a couple years ago, myself included. I knew the materials wouldn't last that long in our climate...but you gotta work with what you got. I have a new section I want to fence so I can put the pigs into to till and fertilize (and keep the chickens...and dear out of) so what to do. I spent the day searching for long, straight, material today, to do another woven fence. Not enough for the job. Maybe if I copis the crap out of a lot of scrub trees and wait five years for it to grow back tall and straight...but I have to solve this problem now. So what do we have in abundance. Left over scrub wood. We have a rather large food forest. I can gather several tons of food from it...but no one tells you, you have to manage it or faster growing trees will choke out, kill and feed apon the trees you want to keep. That means a lot of scraggly waist product. Same if you cut your own firewood. All the extra stuff.

This is where The Dead Hedge comes in. Using that stuff. I will give you folks photo documentation as I build one and report on my experience as the years pass...but until that happens...here is some great photos

https://www.google.ca/search?q=dead+hedge&biw=1366&bih=599&tbm=isch&imgil=_KXvGQ6orhiyDM%253A%253B1t1H-NLWvyT91M%253Bhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fdulwichupperwood.wordpress.com%25252F2013%25252F05%25252F16%25252Ffeatures-of-the-wood-dead-hedges%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=_KXvGQ6orhiyDM%253A%252C1t1H-NLWvyT91M%252C_&dpr=1&ved=0ahUKEwjZxrqQ9tfKAhXK6xoKHc7lCBcQyjcIJA&ei=owWwVpnpMMrXa87Lo7gB&usg=__oV87UWvUZ3TyySLWQ2rX820fJ7M%3D#tbm=isch&q=dead+hedge

C5 Rule of Survival- Good fences make good neighbours. If you cant make a fence, you might be a lousy neighbour.
 
Chadwick Holmes
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Is this like hedge laying with dead wood?
 
Ross Raven
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Two post with dead wood stuffed between them. If it decomposes, simply ad your latest scrub wood
 
Chadwick Holmes
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Nice!
 
Ross Raven
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Speaking of the Apocalypse..... Spring seems to have come a couple of months early, sooooo, I have been a bit busy. I only wanted to do a small fence around the solar panels. It has morphed into the great wall of china...but with twigs. Because the ground was frozen and I wanted to get a feel for the amount of effort it would take, I thought I would start with one section of the overgrown orchard, using the brush that was there so it would continue to grow becoming a live fence over time. I would put in real posts where needed later, to fill in gaps. First, I toped the trees and cut a channel, then started cutting back all the competing trees that were choking out the apple trees...then I just got alittle bit carried away....and decided to do the entire orchard with the hopes of using the pigs to completely re sculpt the landscape. It was still too miserable to do anything else and I was pent up from the winter anyhooo. Go, Go, El Nino.
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Ross Raven
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Now that I was getting a feel for it...and seeing that this would make a fine, improvised Zombie Defence wall, lol, I started figuring the new meandering path the fence would take, using the best trees and the least posts. This mainly started because one of my jobs for the year was to find a bunch of the Service Berry trees (totally unusable for feeding anyone but the birds) and cut them down so they would coppice back into a more human pickable size. So I sort of started building the fence Bass Akwards. I started putting the extra material along where The fence would be with the intension of putting posts in afterwards once the ground was soft enough....and then I just kept cutting...and cutting...
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Ross Raven
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At this point, I am starting to do it the correct way buy putting in posts in the open areas. I tried just ponding some into the wet ground between freeze, thaw cycles but it just wasn't working because I was putting the fatter ends onto the ground. I now use the post hole digger. It is my hope that a few of these posts will continue to grow, sending out roots and shoots, so they become live fence posts. Only time will tell. This is how many of the great hedges in Europe started. Many of them started as defensive walls put in by the romans, (Hawthorn) and they just kept growing. Im using my hawthorn sparingly to fill in light areas, on top to make it hard to climb over, and eventually sticking cuttings into the ground with the hopes that a few will take. Maybe some black berry as well. I put the post in during the hibernating phase so hopefully they will draw moisture up as soon as the wet warmth arrives.

More pictures to come. I hope to give it the pig test within the month.
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Todd Parr
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This is such a great idea. I planted a row of upright willows at the base of the slope on my property where the property ends. This spring I will plant another row staggered and back a couple feet for living fence posts and fill the inside with whatever I don't run thru the wood chipper for mulch. Thanks for posting this.
 
Ross Raven
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People might find this old drawing interesting

http://www.medbherenn.com/images/rath.jpg
 
Dan Boone
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Ross Raven wrote: Animal management means keeping them where they can do the most good and keeping them out of your hard work that they will trash. Unless you are willing to be a 24\7 herder, that means fencing. And expensive fencing material isn't going to be around forever. It may be around but let's say you can't afford it. So, what to do? Fencing has become top level survival information that we need to figure out.


Thanks for this thread -- you have expanded my notions about what is possible. I am totally with you, living as I do on 40 acres with aging barbed wire around just three of the sides. (How useless is that?) I don't have animals yet (except for untrustworthy rescue dogs) and will need lots of fencing to keep farm animals in and the dogs out. The deeper I get into plant systems, the more I feel the need for complimentary animal systems. Lack of funds for "normal" fencing is the biggest immediate barrier.

As far as I know the best thread so far here on Permies.com about making cheap fences from scrub/scrap forest materials on hand is this one: junkpole fence: freaky cheap chicken/deer fence made from wood typically thrown away Trouble is, that system is for a place where there's a surplus of mostly-straight small poles. Nothing I have is straight; it's all curved and brushy and thorny and hard to work with. Your "dead hedge" concept, though, I can work with. I already have brush piles! Seems to me you're just talking about arranging them strategically.

However you're well ahead of me on implementation, so I'll be fascinated how they work when you throw animals at them. Seems like it should work for cattle and sheep and maybe hogs (I know almost nothing about hogs) and if I build tight it actually ought to be better than wire fencing for keeping my dogs out (they don't even slow down for barbed or other wire fencing, and they readily dig under anything like chain link or chicken wire or cattle panels.) But I am wondering about goats -- won't they just climb up on top of it and then eat it? And I can imagine chickens with a bit of flight treating it more like a landscape feature (hey, let's go perch on that funny ridge) than a fence. But they do that with fences too, so probably not a lot of difference.

Very much looking forward to your updates after you have it done and in use!
 
Dan Boone
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Ross Raven wrote:Unless you are willing to be a 24\7 herder...


It's mildly off-topic, but I woke up with a thought about this in my head. It's my impression that at times and places in history, there were a lot of folks with a dairy cow or a few goats or a small flock of geese, who maybe had a secure night-time enclosure/shelter for them, but not enough land to graze them on. But they might have grazing rights to a common area or, if sufficiently rural, there might be lots of places outside the village, up in the hills, et cetera where the animals could graze. I seem to recollect hearing that very small children (too young for real hard labor) might be sent out as shepherds with these animals. Indeed, some versions of "The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf" feature such a young shepherd. There's a story about a "Goose Girl" who I think has a similar occupation. Even a very small kid can keep the animal roughly where it's supposed to be, steer it away from things it's not supposed to eat, run for help if the animal gets into trouble, and (most importantly) bring the critter home at night or -- a failure mode that's better than nothing -- come home with a story about where the animal was last seen and which direction it was heading.

Obviously this lifestyle would interfere with modern notions of child rearing, risk, educational importance, and the value of autonomy and self-determination in children. I think it might even fail on economic terms in any family that has a moderately productive farm -- is the value of a day's grazing greater than the opportunity cost in other labor that kid could have done, like weeding, gathering forage for chickens, trapping vermin, et cetera? I simply don't know. But I guess my point here is that the herding lifestyle isn't all-or-nothing; if you have lots of children and (in a bad post-apocalypse scenario, say) nothing better for them to be doing, you can get some herding done on and near your farm without giving up the farm.

I will say that based on my own experience as a little kid, roaming the Alaskan woods within a mile or two of our cabin from the age of 5, carrying my BB gun and some snare wire and looking for squirrels or hares or anything not-boring, I'm pretty sure I would have been capable of keeping tabs on a (friendly, biddable, fat, lazy) goat or two even at that tender age.

Obviously good fencing, once you have it, is a better answer. But it's not all or nothing.
 
Ross Raven
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I think My decision to get serious about this fencing came from watching Tudor Farm. Watling from coppice starts at about the 9 minute mark. Dead hedge at the 13 minute mark.(I want a much thicker and higher one. At least 3 ft wide) . I'll also do some major hacking of one area this year for future coppice material. I already did a bit for the posts. It didn't take long for the cut scrub to make it hard to work in. I'll drag that scrub out and toss it on the dead hedge.



Most of my gardening this year will be done with a chainsaw.lol
 
Dan Boone
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That's an inspiring bit of video. There's also a nice glimpse of wattle-and-daub construction at about 41:30.

I've got a thicket of paper mulberry that coppices like mad whenever I try to clear it out, that's suckering outward in all directions at the rate of about 10 feet per year. I'm thinking of hewing it back substantially and using the cuttings to build a dead hedge on a small scale to enclose a small paddock or chicken run. The paper mulberry coppices inside the pen can be cut for fodder, and the branches and sticks used to increase and maintain the dead hedge. There's also some eastern redbud and hackberry trees inside the enclosure area that would provide soft mast for additional forage. I've got a bunch of osage orange and honey locust branches already piled up that will provide additional spiny backbone to the dead hedge if I run short of mulberry and random trash saplings.
 
Dan Boone
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I have been googling. Virtually everybody out there who has done this, has done a tiny little six or eight foot demonstration section only. Alan Shepard has an old (2008) blog post with this paragraph of instructions:

You soon learn that very few branches are actually straight or even straightish and therefore useful for wattling, but if you’ve got a mass of crooked and dense material you can make a so called dead hedge instead. This takes up slightly more space but making one is just as simple. Decide how tall you want your dead hedge and bash two lines of appropriately sized straight thick stakes in to the ground with the mallet (three to four year old branches will probably do it) – one foot apart at fairly regular but alternate intervals (in other words like a slalom or football skills course). Pile the brash between the stakes pushing it down as you go until you have a good even and sturdy barrier.


He's got two small photos, but like almost everybody else, he only shows a short little chunk of dead hedge, like he built it so he could take the photo. I'm still looking for discussions of finished dead hedges long enough to be useful fencing systems.
 
Dan Boone
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Here are some pretty specific instructions from a British handbook on deer fencing for building a dead hedge that will keep deer from browsing fresh coppices:

Dead hedging

This can be constructed using some of the material cut during coppicing, and has the benefit of using material that might otherwise be burnt or left on the coppice floor. It requires no expenditure except time, and using only materials from the wood, avoids the need to transport fencing materials to the site. Properly constructed, it will last long enough to protect the new regrowth, and then will rot down in situ, with no clearing up costs. The dead hedge provides useful habitat for nesting birds, small mammals and other creatures.

With practice, two people can erect 20m a day. For the stakes, use stout coppice poles about 1.8m (6') long, pushed firmly into the ground in double lines about 1m (3') apart, with the poles about 3m (10') apart in each line and staggered. Use a crowbar to make pilot holes as necessary. Fill between the stakes with coppice material, pressed down firmly to make a barrier about 1m (3') wide, and about 1.5m (5') high. When the barrier reaches about 1m (3') high, stand on it to compress it, and then continue. The dead hedge should be checked regularly, and any weak points strengthened with branches or coppice material.


 
Ross Raven
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Dan Boone wrote:I have been googling. Virtually everybody out there who has done this, has done a tiny little six or eight foot demonstration section only. Alan Shepard has an old (2008) blog post with this paragraph of instructions:

You soon learn that very few branches are actually straight or even straightish and therefore useful for wattling, but if you’ve got a mass of crooked and dense material you can make a so called dead hedge instead. This takes up slightly more space but making one is just as simple. Decide how tall you want your dead hedge and bash two lines of appropriately sized straight thick stakes in to the ground with the mallet (three to four year old branches will probably do it) – one foot apart at fairly regular but alternate intervals (in other words like a slalom or football skills course). Pile the brash between the stakes pushing it down as you go until you have a good even and sturdy barrier.


He's got two small photos, but like almost everybody else, he only shows a short little chunk of dead hedge, like he built it so he could take the photo. I'm still looking for discussions of finished dead hedges long enough to be useful fencing systems.

I see that you have caught my fever. You may be cursing my name later. Its quite labour intensive. It will break down and need to be added to every few years as far as I can tell...and leave it to me to not just do a cute little test area...but surround an acre...and put the smartest, escapiest animal in it to see if it can break out.

But you see that there is a dual\cooperative thing taking place here. By not having enough coppice material, you build a dead hedge...which creates new areas that will produce coppice.
(and as for googling it...I am guessing WE will be the people others are googling soon. LOL)

I was eyeballing the area that is an impenetrable jungle of useless land and seeing how once I hack out what is there, that space is my new coppice farm. My muscles ache just thinking about it
 
Dan Boone
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Ross Raven wrote:
I see that you have caught my fever. You may be cursing my name later. Its quite labour intensive. It will break down and need to be added to every few years as far as I can tell.


Yeah. I've done enough brush cutting that I have a notion. (I say this while nursing a right hand full of thorn holes, from spending two hours today cutting a whole thicket of Osage Orange saplings away from around a newly-discovered feral fruit tree that I discovered when it bloomed this week.) I'm not in the best of shape nor do I have unlimited time for land improvements, which is why I'm going to start small if I start at all. (I want to, but I have a long list of priorities...)

I think if I do do this thing, I'm going to back it up by planting a living hedge in and adjacent to it. We've got a bunch of thorny stuff that wants to grow here; the only reason I haven't done living hedges 'ere now is the long lead time before they are functional. But planting osage orange and honey locust and willow and mulberry and hackberry along a dead hedge seems like a reasonable way to get to a permanent living and fodder-producing fence, especially if some of the trees supporting the dead hedge continue to grow and produce coppice (well, more like pollard actually) material for refreshing it. Adding to the dead hedge doesn't seem like much of a burden when I am actively growing and clearing and maintaining the land in its vicinity; there will always be brush that needs to go somewhere. But I like the idea that by the time I get to that certain age when I'm not going to be cutting brush, I might have a living hedgerow that won't need as much attention.

Ross Raven wrote:
But you see that there is a dual\cooperative thing taking place here. By not having enough coppice material, you build a dead hedge...which creates new areas that will produce coppice.


All my Googling today has reinforced the notion that dead hedges weren't so widely used historically because they were regarded as ruinously expensive, especially in labor. The best modern examples I can find on the web all seem to have been created by non-profits using lots of volunteers. So I don't see them as a permanent solution to anything. But as a pioneer fence during our initial attempts to reclaim land that's been let grow wild, it seems to have a lot to offer. Much of the labor "cost" is labor that would happen during land-clearing anyway, and the resulting fence can be used to establish animal systems long before they could be financed in any conventional way. Plus, the cold truth is that I need the exercise; I'm coming to this whole "growing stuff" enterprise deep into middle age after a ludicrously sedentary life to date.
 
Ross Raven
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We are on the same page here. I need a fence NOW and dont want to put any money into it. Once it is done, I start planting on the edges. (After this note, I have to go learn about rooting hormone). I need animals Now and think it unwise to take out several thousand dollars in loans for fencing. Let the animals do the deep clearing . I am pushing 50 after a life of self abuse. I only have a few more years of being able to pull off these crazy projects...then they have to work on there own with a lot less effort.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Thorn fences are extensively used in Ladakh, especially in the past. Most of Ladakh uses stone fences and may top them with thorns, but the Nubra region uses seabuckthorn alone. The other local thorn-bush isn't used because it crumbles too quickly, though when fresh they feel similar. There's no wood for poles, so the first layer is pinned down in the earth or with stones, and then each year you add fresh thorns on top during winter. But the times I tried to start a bottom layer with stones, it got knocked around by the wind, so I seem to be missing something. After many years of buildup, you pull the whole thing down and start over. The old stuff has lost its sharp thorns so you can use it for fuel comfortably. These fences hold goats, sheep, and cattle; but dogs often find a place to weasel through.
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Ross Raven
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Great photos, Rebecca. The best way to think outside the box is to see how other cultures handle the same problem.
 
William Bronson
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This thread made me think about hugeling the resulting hedge. Turns out someone on permies is already on it:
http://www.permies.com/t/25625/hugelkultur/builing-dead-hedge-ll-magically

 
Neil Layton
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I have to say that my first thought on reading the title was "Erythroxylum?"

That notion just crossed my mind.

Anyway, my suggestion is twofold. Keep up with your "dead hedge". Meanwhile, you may wish to learn about hedge laying. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedge_laying I see no reason to limit this skill to the UK and Ireland. Ultimately, this should mean you no longer need your dead hedge.

In the meantime, watch your speed...
 
Jayden Thompson
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In looking at these pictures, I feel like my sheep would find a way to climb over and my pigs would find a way through or under. Why not go with a living hedge? I've though about planting osage orange sticks every few feet, and letting them root. I've heard they root well, and you can shape them into a tall bush that forms a strong and thorny wall. Too tall for deer to jump, and too strong for cows to push through. And living, which I prefer to dead.

If the goal is to just find a way to use waste wood, then I think it's OK. And as others mentioned, could be transformed into a hugel in the future.
 
Dan Boone
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Dean Moriarty wrote:Why not go with a living hedge?


For me, the answer is that I've got way more work to do than I have labor available.

It's easy to justify using some of my limited labor on a project with an immediate return. If I built a dead hedge enclosure that worked, I could put animals in it immediately. But labor invested into a living hedge in 2016 won't pay off until 2020 at least. The opportunity cost is high: all the other projects with quicker returns that I could have done instead.

For what it's worth, I've never seen a buried osage orange stick take root. But they do grow up fairly quickly from seed. And though I have not seen a living hedge made from them, they seem very suited to the task. In my biome, I'd also use honey locust, greenbriar (a smilax bramble), and whatever this viney rose is around here that makes thickets the size of dump trucks.
 
Mick Fisch
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What a brilliant idea. Pretty obvious not that I think of it though. I'm thinking a dead hedge in front of my living hedge that is just starting out to protect the living hedge.
 
Matthew Nistico
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Dan Boone wrote:I think if I do do this thing, I'm going to back it up by planting a living hedge in and adjacent to it. We've got a bunch of thorny stuff that wants to grow here; the only reason I haven't done living hedges 'ere now is the long lead time before they are functional. But planting osage orange and honey locust and willow and mulberry and hackberry along a dead hedge seems like a reasonable way to get to a permanent living and fodder-producing fence, especially if some of the trees supporting the dead hedge continue to grow and produce coppice (well, more like pollard actually) material for refreshing it. Adding to the dead hedge doesn't seem like much of a burden when I am actively growing and clearing and maintaining the land in its vicinity; there will always be brush that needs to go somewhere. But I like the idea that by the time I get to that certain age when I'm not going to be cutting brush, I might have a living hedgerow that won't need as much attention.


I like that! Living hedges have always appealed, but by definition they take as much time to build as it takes for the constituent species to grow. By combining a dead hedge w/ living hedge plantings and/or living fenceposts, you can organically combine this-season efficacy with investment in the future. It's like succession planning for your hedge! I do wish you the best of luck if you decide to go forward : )

Now, a couple of random observations and uninformed speculations about the dead hedge as a concept:

1) A functional length of dead hedge would require access to MASSIVE volumes of brush and prunings. For those of us with small holdings, the idea of importing brush onto our land might start to sound less-than-appealing just in terms of even more labor added onto an already-labor-intensive project.

2) On the other hand, if one has massive volumes of brush and prunings already on hand from some other project, perhaps sitting around in an imposing pile, glaring at you and daring you to pony up the time/effort into chipping and shredding it into mulch... well, now problem solved! It all goes into the dead hedge.

3) I like how the dead hedge combines the functionalities of "fence" and "permie brush pile intentionally left around the edges of the garden to increase predator habitat" in one structure. Hurrah for stacking functions!

4) I can see how a dead hedge might be adequate at keeping goats, chickens, ducks, and geese in. But would it realistically keep dogs, cats, and foxes out? And building one tall enough to keep deer out seems unlikely.

5) Same same, would even a dead hedge with plenty of thorny material be adequate to stop a full-grown hog that was intent on reaching the other side? My understanding (not based on any personal experience) is that few fences are in fact adequate to that task.

6) Other posters have noted how, similar to many a cob cottage, examples of extant dead hedges seem to be extremely limited in size. These examples hint at the possibility of scaling up to more useful dimensions, but fall short of actually demonstrating it. While I know nothing of dead hedges, short of what is posted in this thread, I do know quite a bit about taking on serious homesteading and green building projects while being forced to purchase much of the manual labor I'd otherwise like to provide myself. If anyone reading thinks they might fall into this same category, then take this warning from my experience: calculate very carefully how quickly building a dead hedge with hired labor, even at minimum wage, will cease to become cost effective compared to conventional fencing. This will give you a budget of X man-hours with which to work. How many feet of dead hedge will X man-hours realistically provide? Enough to finish your job? Because a fence that stretches half way is just as effective as no fence at all. So consider the conventional alternatives, or else decide that the properties of a dead hedge are worth additional up-front investment, or else perhaps design your animal paddocks in a modular fashion so that a shorter hedge will still be effective this year but can be added on to next year.

Just a few thoughts.
 
Eric Hammond
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This dead hedge looks like a great way to start a massive fast burning fire to me..... Any solutions to the very clear fire problem?
 
Pangas Ponkai
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Barbed wire was cut, people continue to steal wood, bamboo, etc. Tried the dead hedge, which worked for awhile until someone burned it down.
 
Dan Boone
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Eric Hammond wrote:This dead hedge looks like a great way to start a massive fast burning fire to me..... Any solutions to the very clear fire problem?


"Problem" would be a matter of context I think. It's a fuel reservoir for sure. Some people maintain a zone of bare soil, concrete, or irrigated turf around structures they want to protect from wildfire danger; it all depends on the extent of perceived danger and one's tolerance for fire risk. Permies in general I think are more open to maintaining burnable structures on their property; like anything else these need to be sensibly sited, and the risk of maintaining them properly balanced against the benefits they provide.
 
Glenn Herbert
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Build it in a climate that is not subject to regular fire hazard conditions? (In much of the Northeast forest fires are very rare, and brush fires not especially common.)
 
r ranson
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One of my great grandfathers was an expert plasher. Basically he managed hedgerows for the area. One of the things he used dead hedges for was to begin a new hedgerow. I imagine it's something like the ancestor of hugelkultur. The lengths he cut for the steaks, were usually of green wood and of trees that rooted fairly easily. After a few years, many of the steaks grew and he had the makings of a new hedgerow.

I'm sure dead hedges were different for different areas and needs. This is just one use for them.
 
R Scott
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It looks like a pack rat super highway. How do you control vermin?
 
Ross Raven
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R Ranson wrote:One of my great grandfathers was an expert plasher. Basically he managed hedgerows for the area. One of the things he used dead hedges for was to begin a new hedgerow. I imagine it's something like the ancestor of hugelkultur. .


Fandiddlyfuckingastic!!! I started a fight buy tying something new...that is something old.

All permaculture is regional. Not all things work everywhere.

For those that say it cant be done....

....Just watch me!


(and to think my next photos were about starting a new coppice farm.....also completely ridiculous)
 
Dan Boone
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R Scott wrote:It looks like a pack rat super highway. How do you control vermin?


One man's vermin are another man's biodiversity? I know I want ecosystem complexity wherever I can engineer it. I don't want rats in my tree nursery, so having a hedgerow for them to live in sounds like win to me.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I really like this idea, and combining the dead hedge with a living hedge transition. By planting the posts as living shoots, like willows, dogwoods, and others that plant and grow easily, one can get this going fast, especially since the dead hedge will trap moisture under it. I would consider jamming branches or whole small trees vertically in the center of the dead hedge to give more height (so deer won't want to jump it... they tend to not want to jump over things they can't see beyond, but still).
 
Giselle Burningham
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Brilliant... Thank you. It solves two problems I had, spare cuttings from branches when clearing, and. A pademelon ( small kangaroo) stopper. Thank you soooo much for this idea.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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It looks like a pack rat super highway. How do you control vermin?
It would also be a martin haven, a weasel paradise... snakes... plenty of predators love that sort of place.
 
R Scott
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Dan Boone wrote:
R Scott wrote:It looks like a pack rat super highway. How do you control vermin?


One man's vermin are another man's biodiversity? I know I want ecosystem complexity wherever I can engineer it. I don't want rats in my tree nursery, so having a hedgerow for them to live in sounds like win to me.


Ahh. location, Location, LOCATION. Trap crop of trees. Brilliant.
 
Philipp Mueller
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R Ranson wrote:One of my great grandfathers was an expert plasher. Basically he managed hedgerows for the area. One of the things he used dead hedges for was to begin a new hedgerow. I imagine it's something like the ancestor of hugelkultur. The lengths he cut for the steaks, were usually of green wood and of trees that rooted fairly easily. After a few years, many of the steaks grew and he had the makings of a new hedgerow.

I'm sure dead hedges were different for different areas and needs. This is just one use for them.


In my area (western Germany, mostly 8a, moist) it is not even necessary to use green sticks that might root. If you put enough small dead wood in one place, birds will use the spot to rest and leave lots of seeds of their favourite food on the ground, along with good fertilizer. You dont have to plant anything and can be quite sure that anything growing will be good food for local birds.
 
Susan Doyon
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Ross Thank you for posting the Tudor video . loved it .
It is a great subject and thread , as so many of us have more need for fence than funds to build them .

Up here in Massachusetts we have loads of invasive wild rose and autumn olive I wonder if they could be moved and pruned into a proper hedge

 
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