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Jim Bryant
Posts: 55
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
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2392
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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.
 
Ian Rule
Posts: 89
Location: Nevada County, CA
8
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
pollinator
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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.
 
Douglas Crouch
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Marco Banks
Posts: 593
Location: Los Angeles, CA
56
books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees urban woodworking
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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: 55
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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