• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Mike Haasl
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Rob Lineberger
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • Jordan Holland

Tree guild evolution

Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello everybody!
I have read a lot about tree guilds from various sources (Edible Forest Gardens, Gaia's Garden, Martin Crawford Forest garden books...).
Books describe guilds (including nice sketches) around adult tree, where the inner space is filled with insectary or mulch plants and on the outside of crown there are nurse trees (mostly nitrogen fixers).
That was a theory and now I'd like to jump into practice. However I stepped into information vacuum - in the books there is no info how to start a new guild around a newly planted tree. Herbs are OK, they can expand. But what concerns me the most is at what distance to plant the nurse trees. In my opinion the closer the better (in order to have more advantage from fixing nitrogen), but not too close (in order for main tree to be able to expand), so ideally on the drip line. However  main tree grows and drip line moves too. And what to do with nurse trees? Cut them every 2-3 years and plant new ones further away? (that sound as a lot of work for permaculture...) Or plant them further away from scratch ? (but they won't work as nurse plants for the first 10-15 years...).
I want to make guilds in the spring around my new small wallnuts. According to several studies (for example http://forestry.oxfordjournals.org/content/81/5/631.abstract), the wallnuts greatly benefit from companion with Elaeagnus Umbellata (autumn olive) resulting in higher growth and yields. However I could not find any info how to start this benefitial relation from the scratch and how to alter this guild when the trees grow and expand during time...
Any hints, own experiences, links to articles or books appreciated!
Posts: 947
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Plant TONS of cheap seedling Autumn Olive around the Walnut tree with a path to get in to work from the tree outwards.

As the tree expands chop the inner layer down for mulch.
Posts: 2732
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
plant any nitrogen fixers just as Kyrt said.  You can coppice them and chop and drop them, and eventually chop them out, all the while they are providing for your choice trees.  You can plant one right in the same hole as your choice tree.  Don't be fixed on the spacing, if you can get the trees cheap or free.  You can space them out afterwards.      
To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -Elbert Hubbard. Please critique this tiny ad:
Rocket Mass Heater Manual - now free for a while
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic