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Pecan Guild  RSS feed

 
Posts: 57
Location: Piedmont Region of North Carolina
food preservation forest garden
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Hello,

My neighbor recently planted 6 - 1' tall pecan trees in Caswell County, NC which is in zone 7 in the Piedmont region of NC.

He put the trees about 10' inside of the woods alongside a field instead of putting them in the field on the edge of the woods. The woods are not very thick.

He is not sure where the trees are oriented as far as facing south or not.

We looked through my 'Edible Forest Gardens' books to design a guild. He lives about an hour away from where he planted the trees so he does not plan to visit the site often. I am wondering if

1. He should build a guild inside an established woods. Is not this a fungal environment. Should he move the trees to where they will start to be in weedy grassy area.

2. If he absolutely has to be facing south or east or west. If he is on the north side of these not so dense woods and the slope is facing north will those sun loving pecan trees survive and thrive.


This is the list thus far.

1. nitrogen fixer - hog peanut Amphicarpaea bracteata

2. Pest confuser - multiplier onion Allium cepa aggregatum

3. Dynamic accumulator - Dandelion Taraxacum officianale

4. Jerudalum artichoke.

5. Comfrey - Symphytum grandiflorum

6. Nitrogen fixer - red clover

7. Nitrogen fixer - white clover

Hope this is explicit enough...

Best
 
pollinator
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Jim, you might want to check out this thread where we were talking about what to plant under pecans. 

I'd be a little reluctant to uproot a tree that has been in the ground for any length of time.  Pecans are quick to develop a tap root, that's why they are sold in the tallest plastic pots possible.  Also, I don't see a lot of pecan volunteers in my woods, just out in the open areas where squirrels bury them; so it would not surprise me if they fail, even if, as you say, the woods are "not very thick".  I do get volunteers popping up out of sage and rosemary and other herbs, but once the pecan shoot gets up a foot or two, it has full day sun, and can take off. 

I hope my experience with unwanted weeds (pecans) can help you.
 
Posts: 114
Location: Nevada County, CA
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books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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While I cant weigh in on the pecan guild, I must implore you to reconsider planting comfrey and jerusalem artichokes in what sounds like a rural forests edge... those plants can really damage the local ecology if not kept in check or worked with by humans. I agree they are awesome guild mates, I use them like crazy, but only within my zone 1 and 2 areas where I can monitor the growth and utilize them/run animals if the greenies get too comfortable.

Ya doin gosh's work, keep it up!
 
John Elliott
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I can't speak about comfrey, but Jerusalem artichokes are not an invasive threat in the Southeast.  While I have had plantings succeed in sunny locations, they did not proliferate with lots of volunteers the following year.  As for the ones that were on the edge of the woods, they failed both years that I planted them, too much competition.
 
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pollinator
Posts: 944
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur urban
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I've never known comfrey to be invasive, but I only use a sterile variety --- Bocking 14.  It's only propagated by root cutting.  In 10 years of planting it throughout my integrated food forest, I've never seen it once "get loose" and go where I wasn't planted.  Once established, it's tough as nails and will tend to grow in that place for years, slowing expanding outward.  But it doesn't sent out runners or cast seed to the wind.

I use comfrey in every fruit and nut tree guild.  Don't plant it too close to the trunk --- give it 3 feet or more.
 
Jim Bryant
Posts: 57
Location: Piedmont Region of North Carolina
food preservation forest garden
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Thank you all so much. I have printed all of this great info and will pass it on to my neighbor.
Hope your spring planting goes well.
 
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When thinking of plant guilds for pecan trees, remember, the nuts need to be harvested, and it is very difficult to harvest pecans amidst a jumble of plants that hide the nuts. Just before the nuts are ready to fall or be shaken down, what ever else is out there needs to be mowed flat to get to the pecans. Daffadills have been growing well around the trunk of our huge pecan we have in our front yard. Clover and dandilions do well there, and one other I would like to try is lentils that can be harvested leaving seeds for next year naturally. One other I will try, quite different from anything I have seen here is morel mushrooms! Growing naturally, they come up in late spring amidst the decaying vegetation. I live in central Georgia and just cleared a gently sloping ravine leaving volunteer pecans and hickory trees too close to each other. Removed from the area were privet and memosa trees. I will soon spread spores this spring amidst the decaying vegetation in various areas and take notes to see where they grow best. You can see how easy it is to spike your forest garden with these spores at you tube under the search for: how to grow morel mushrooms at home. After two months, the privet is beginning to sprout up, so I will go with maddox in hand to chop them down or use the mower before planting any thing else to cut them down as much as possible. I think they will die off if this is done through the summer The mushrooms will be unharmed as they grow under ground until late spring. If I could afford goats, I would fence the area in and get them to eat any shoots starting to keep them down naturally, but I cannot afford an electric fence and buy the animals. These pecans crown much higher than commercial ones, so their shadow patterns move over the ground rapidly. Once this fall comes, I will see which pecans bear well, and figure out which ones to remove so the remainder will be strong trees that will last for many years. Mushrooms are worth a serious look at to integrate them into your forest garden. Later, when things settle down and the privet and memosa trees are under control, I will add muscadine grapes to grow up those tall and spindly pecan tree trunks as they do in the wild, and between the trees, with pine straw added as mulch to lower the pH, camellia sinensis (green tea plants) will be added to harvest their leaves late spring and early summer. The lack of so much sun shine when the pecans leaf out will cause the tea bushes to put out more chlorophill, adding to the taste and nutritional value of the tea. Sorry for the spelling errors, but you get the idea. Blessings to all from central GA, USA. Oh, and I would like to find some one that could send me some wild leeks, ramps, from the mountain areas of the south east, that would be a fine addition to serve as a pest confuser.
 
Marco Banks
pollinator
Posts: 944
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Comfrey really isn't invasive.  If you want to get rid of it, first mow it flat to the ground.  Then just lay a piece of black plastic over it and weigh it down with a couple of stones or scoops of soil.  It'll be gone in 6 months.  Bocking 4 or 14 will not "travel" --- it will get slightly larger with each passing year, but it's not suddenly going to pop up 10 feet away. 

I would imagine that eventually, anything will die that is planted at the base of a pecan tree that will grow to 50 feet tall.  That includes comfrey.
 
Jim Bryant
Posts: 57
Location: Piedmont Region of North Carolina
food preservation forest garden
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Thanks Russ, This looks good. I have found those youtube videos that you mentioned and will take a look at them.
 
Jim Bryant
Posts: 57
Location: Piedmont Region of North Carolina
food preservation forest garden
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Marco Banks wrote:Comfrey really isn't invasive.  If you want to get rid of it, first mow it flat to the ground.  Then just lay a piece of black plastic over it and weigh it down with a couple of stones or scoops of soil.  It'll be gone in 6 months.  Bocking 4 or 14 will not "travel" --- it will get slightly larger with each passing year, but it's not suddenly going to pop up 10 feet away. 

I would imagine that eventually, anything will die that is planted at the base of a pecan tree that will grow to 50 feet tall.  That includes comfrey.



Thanks Marco, Do you know how far the roots of the Bocking 14 spread? How close would you put the Bocking 14 to your septic leach field?

Best regards,

 
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