I might be more inclined to put honey locust in a food forest. On a similar note has anyone tried using locusts as a living fence?
I've read Locust are good for fence posts, but after seeing what I saw, I will shy away from the Locust for ground contact.
I bought three acres last summer, with a one-acre wood lot containing mostly Osage Orange (I've been corrected by the locals, "We call it Hedge" and Black Locust. I cleaned out the dead/down trees for firewood last fall. Assuming the trees were all damaged by the same ice storm, i.e. dead for the same amount of time, the hedge logs were in perfect shape, but many of the Locust were getting punky. I've read Locust are good for fence posts, but after seeing what I saw, I will shy away from the Locust for ground contact.
I would love to get some Chestnut in the mix...
I've read all the black locust threads here, and plenty of people have an love black locust. I need to know, though, if anyone has included it in a food forest design?
I'm designing a 2 acre food forest.
I want a nitrogen fixing overstory tree on the north and northwest border of the plot that I can coppice for firewood and fence posts, but I am very concerned about planting something that I will continually need to weed out to prevent it from taking over and dominating the food forest. Should I look at alder instead to fill that niche?
What about shipmast black locust? I know it has a more upright form, is it also less invasive?
tel jetson wrote:
... I spend a few hours every year harvesting firewood and leaves for the goats from our black locusts, and a few more minutes trying to pleach a few of them into a living structure.
Just learned my Virginia Dept of Forestry will sell me black locust seedlings at $2 each for 10. Sweet! But I'm really intrigued now by this Shipmast BL variety (Forest Gardens sells for $10 each), and I gather there's also a lot of variation in how thorny BL are. Should I pay more for a better cultivar, or plop these puppies into a coppice lot?
What kinda thoughts or plans are you making about this 'pleach' living structure? Are you thinking of making a house or barn type structure with conventional roof or bending the trees to make a roof? Are you planting trees at certain intervals?.. Planting seeds or moving seedlings?
tel jetson wrote:
I planted four seedlings in a square mostly as an experiment. I think they're about 12 feet apart. my plan was to make a sort of living trellis to make a shady outdoor room for summer meals in the garden. seems to be working so far, but it'll be a few more years before it really takes shape. there are kiwis growing up the locusts, and herbs growing underneath. once the whole thing gets into a shape I like, I'll probably start cutting more branches and wood off of it to slow it down and use for building material, firewood, and critter food. could be a complete disaster, though.