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distancing of trees in the Permaculture Orchard video & "chimneys"  RSS feed

Antonio Scotti
Posts: 45
Location: Spain
forest garden fungi urban
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I just enjoyed watching the Permaculture Orchard video, and on a second look I realize that I am not sure I understand the actual spacing between tree in each row. Or at least it saws some doubts on my understanding of this specific thing.

On one hand Stefan says that each tree has between 2,4 and 3,04 meters (8'-10') distancing within each row. On the other hand, a picture is presented (at minute 17:17) with the plantation layout. There one can see that between every two tress there are other interplants which are completely outside of tree canopies. Actually, from that drawing it looks like that a full other canopy/tree could be included. What does this mean? Does it mean that if the distance from trunk to trunk is 10' the branches of each tree are pruned quite short in order for the other plants to have enough light? If this is so, then the branches of each tree would be heavily pruned to say, 30 cm long (or less)?....but this is not actually what you see all along the video, the branches are usually longer. So one possibility here is that that specific drawing has been done not taking into account the actual tree canopies and that those interplants are right below the tree branches. So the actual purpose of that drawing was to show what other plants you can grow in between trees without having to draw the full trees canopy on top of them, basically making the drawing somewhat easier to draft.

On the other hand if we look at a picture where the spacing is explained, you can see the trees canopies almost touching each other, which is a more realistic image (to me at least) of how the plantation has been done according to the the rest of the video. Still, even there the canopies do not touch each other and a gap is found between canopies. So I wonder how long the longest branch of each tree has been pruned at (or can be pruned) to assure a minimum of productivity and at the same time leave space beneath for other plants (shrubs) to thrive as well...especially if the lowest branch of every tree should be at 1,2 meters (4')  height from the soil surface.

Also I am probably looking at this with the perspective of someone living in warmer climate (mediterranean) where competition for water might ensue easily in summer months, so I guess interplanting here should be sparser and with very drought resistant plants. Even the trees themselves would probably benefit from being planted a bit more far apart in each row using this system.

Also, on another note, at what stage of the tree growth does one start to create the "chimney"? Does one have to wait until the tree is 3 o4 years old at least?
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