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Hybrid Willows for a three acre property

 
pollinator
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My yard is three acres and I have "NO" privacy when I'm out working.  My back lot-line butts up to an equestrian training center and my neighbor to the West runs a commercial cabinet making business.   Regardless of where I am in the yard, there is no privacy.

I'm the kind of person that considers working in the food forest like my religion or zen time so I want to plant my privacy.

I'm seriously considering the Hybrid Willow.   Can anyone think of a reason why I should not plant this tree?  Is there something I'm missing.

The Positive:

1.  Great privacy hedge
2.  biomass
3. nitrogen enhancer
4. basket making
5. Wind break
6. Rooting Aid


Negative:

1. I would need 30 + trees so planting would be a little like monoculture  
2. Not the longest lived plant
3. Trees get 40 to 70 ft tall so I will have to be careful about knocking out the sun in areas.
4. Prone to damage by tent caterpillar

Thanks for your thought on this tree!


Regards, Scott



 
 
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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I don't know what hybrid willows are, but I'm very familiar with willows in general.

They respond very well to being pollarded (whacked off at some height in the end of the dormant season) and put out copious shoots within a month or two, so you wouldn't have to let them grow to full height. We pollard ours in Ladakh every 3 years or so, once they are well established. We cut them at about 7 feet, and they reshoot to like 20 within the same season. Every three years we get a harvest of poles and twigs.

Yeah, if that would be a long line of the same trees, do consider varying it instead and putting in some other things that would give you joy or food or something, not only block the view.

What do you mean by they enhance nitrogen?
 
Scott Foster
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Rebecca Norman wrote:I don't know what hybrid willows are, but I'm very familiar with willows in general.

They respond very well to being pollarded (whacked off at some height in the end of the dormant season) and put out copious shoots within a month or two, so you wouldn't have to let them grow to full height. We pollard ours in Ladakh every 3 years or so, once they are well established. We cut them at about 7 feet, and they reshoot to like 20 within the same season. Every three years we get a harvest of poles and twigs.

Yeah, if that would be a long line of the same trees, do consider varying it instead and putting in some other things that would give you joy or food or something, not only block the view.

What do you mean by they enhance nitrogen?




Rebecca I was referring to nitrogen fixing/ nitrogen enhancing.  Check out this link  http://www.washington.edu/news/2016/05/20/bacteria-in-branches-naturally-fertilize-trees/
 
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Many willows cause far more problems than they solve. They sprout up everywhere, make really low quality firewood , that is difficult to split and if any portion of it is living when it goes into hugelkultur, it's likely to grow. Something with fruit, like plum, is less likely to get away on you. Alder and Poplar are fast growers. Both of them require work as well, but they don't run rampant, like many willows do.
 
Scott Foster
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Dale Hodgins wrote:Many willows cause far more problems than they solve. They sprout up everywhere, make really low quality firewood , that is difficult to split and if any portion of it is living when it goes into hugelkultur, it's likely to grow. Something with fruit, like plum, is less likely to get away on you. Alder and Poplar are fast growers. Both of them require work as well, but they don't run rampant, like many willows do.



Thanks Dale,

When thinking biomass I didn't consider having willows growing out of my hugel!  Good point.
 
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