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new property, not sure how to lay out my trees

 
Sheila Payne
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We finally got a piece of land after 2 months of issues, so now I am ready to plant all my fruit trees and berry plants.  This is the area that I want to put them, I would say it is about an acre in this area.  From looking at the photo, the sun comes up from the bottom right corner of the photo, then sets on the top left of the photo.  I thought about putting the trees all around the perimeter, not close to the existing trees though, about 30 feet away perhaps?  However, I am not sure if that is ok with the sunlight.  I was out there today and it started getting shady around 4ish from the top left first.  I also need to leave room for my vegetable garden.  Currently I have 6 apple trees and 2 pear trees, however I plan on getting a few more apple trees, a peach tree or two, a couple of plum trees, and maybe a cherry tree... not sure yet.  That would be about 17 trees.  I thought about putting my berry plants between the trees, but not in the rows... if that makes sense (so it would be a row of tree/berry/tree/berry/tree/berry... so to speak. 

With that in mind, would you put the trees along the perimeter on the lot away from the trees, or would you put them all to the right or all to the left or something?  And remember I have my veggie garden.  Also, would you put manure right away or would you wait a while?

Thanks so much!
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Tristan Alexander
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Would definitely have to see the site with my own eyes to make a solid judgement... But good rule of thumbs in terms of planting techniques, I wouldn't do rows like that. Nature doesn't grow in rows. Natural ecosystems form more like "guilds". You could do a lattice pattern laying out the tallest (standard, semi-standard cultivar/species such as Apples, most nuts, etc.) trees on the further north side(so they dont completely shade the rest of the plot). Plant your smaller trees (such as persimmons, mulberries, pecans, etc.) around the mature drip-line of those trees. And inbetween those large and second largest trees, plant your shrubs like blueberries, etc. Definitely want your fruit trees to get a solid 6 hours of sun atleast i would say. You can grow, in these microclimate communities of your standard/semi-standard large trees, dwarf/shorter trees, and shrubs, many perennial vegetables herbs and climbers, such as bush kale, dill, lemongrass, oregano, beans, whatever. I would love to see more pics and more angles to help further. I highly recommend reading gaia's garden by Toby Hemenway before planting long-living trees and shrubs on this piece of property. Remember, a cornerstone of permaculture, in Bill Mollison's own words, is to use "protracted, thoughtful observation" rather than "protracted, thoughtless labor". If you read that book you will get some very very good info on incredibly strategic layout for a sustainable development of your ecosystem(s). Hope this helps in some way! Much love from Florida!
 
Sheila Payne
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I figured if I made rows, I would be able to make room for my vegetable garden easier.  It would look really nice if I just had the trees the way you suggested, I love the way that would look!  Plus, it just makes sense.  The other issue is, the trees I got thus far do not tell me the type of rootstock the trees are on, so I don't know what their mature size will be.  it is making it harder for me to know the spacing for the trees.  I have put 2 trees into the ground already, because the garden center told me to put them in asap due to the weather.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Will you be putting in water harvesting earthworks?  I personally feel this is so important.  I didn't do it and all my fruit trees died in a severe drought.  Now I won't plant a tree without "planting the rain" first.

http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/
 
Glenn Herbert
gardener
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Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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In moister areas like most of the northeast, there is generally not so much benefit to building special water harvesting structures - unless the specific land has poor characteristics. My part of New York averages between 2 1/2 and 4 inches of rain (equivalent) every month, with the highest amounts in the middle of the growing season.
 
Sheila Payne
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We are currently in a drought, but we normally don't have issues with water.  I will definitely look into the water harvesting. 
 
Chrissy Star
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SUN....I recommend finding your solar pathway via an online "sun path diagram" or "Solar path calculator" to ensure they always have sun:

https://www2.pvlighthouse.com.au/calculators/solar%20path%20calculator/solar%20path%20calculator.aspx

WATER...Then planting on swales to ensure they always have water:

http://permaculturenews.org/2015/07/24/how-to-build-a-swale-on-contour-successfully/

SOIL NUTRIENT....Also note the area from which the plant species originate - do they grow in forest (fungi dominant soil) or grasslands (bacterial dominant soil).  Fungi or bacterial rhizome/root zone which assist in nutrient uptake underground.  If they grow grasslands, plant some groudcovers & grasses (legumes are great), if not ensure shrubs and forest dwellers (woody plants) grow at their base. Fungi eats wood.

http://www.soilhealth.com/soil-health/organisms/fungi-bact/

FOOD FOREST....if you wish to develop other species as well, you could develop a food forest using plant height (layers):

http://permaculturenews.org/2011/10/21/why-food-forests/


 
Anne Miller
Posts: 162
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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food preservation greening the desert toxin-ectomy
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When placing them you will want to consider how tall the trees will get when mature. Since that is a unknown just think the tallest. The nursery ought to be able to tell you about how tall they will get. You would want to put the trees on the left so they will not shade your vegetable garden, horizontal toward the back of your photo or both.  You also will want to consider where your house will be build and make sure none of the trees will be in the way of workers, materials, or vehicles. Saying "watch out for my trees" probably won't work.  You also want to consider how to water them.  Will you have to lug buckets of water or have a very long garden hose to get to them.  Even when mature they will need to be watered during a drought.
 
Thom Foote
Posts: 33
Location: Colbert, WA
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A sector analysis is a most useful  tool when planning your tree layout vis a vis the rest of your plantings.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Glenn Herbert wrote:In moister areas like most of the northeast, there is generally not so much benefit to building special water harvesting structures - unless the specific land has poor characteristics. My part of New York averages between 2 1/2 and 4 inches of rain (equivalent) every month, with the highest amounts in the middle of the growing season.


Even though they live in moist regions, both Geoff Lawton and sepp holzer have installed what Sepp calls "water retentive landscapes."   Water seems to be the basis of permaculture design. 
 
Steven Kovacs
Posts: 124
Location: Western Massachusetts (USDA zone 5a, heating zone 5, 40"+)
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Sheila Payne wrote:We are currently in a drought, but we normally don't have issues with water.  I will definitely look into the water harvesting. 


I'm not sure "normal" exists anymore in terms of weather and precipitation.  Plan to mitigate extremes, because when they happen, they can do a lot of damage.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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