Hey everyone...I could use some suggestions/advice.
I heard Paul on the survival podcast and one topic that was mentioned was not planting fruittrees in a traditional orchard mentality. Last fall, I planted some peach, apple, paw paw, persimmon, kiwi, and cherry trees. I have some other trees on order from our State Department of Forestry, including hawthorn, hickory, pecan and others.
I planted the fruit trees in a traditional "orchard" mentality or rows, etc. However, after listening to some of the comments, I have a feeling there may be a better way. Any suggestions for how to mix the plantings of the trees above or general recommendations for how I should approach this.
I have 5acres with some trees already on it, but a lot of open space with grass that I am trying to reduce my mowing requirements. I am in Indiana (zone 6).
Any suggested links, books, etc would also be appreciated.
actually, the typical orchard mentality is a huge mono culture of fruit trees. or nuts i guess. the problem with the monoculture, is that the wild pollinators (if the monoculture is large enough) have no habitat, and wont' visit your orchard. the result is that you have to import pollinators, which can mean big bucks.
a huge diverse set of fruiting tree's isn't really called an orchard, it's called a forest.
but we should remember there are different layers in a forest, and a forest interacts with it's many parts.
there should be trees to support the other trees. an example, maybe you plant aspen, but the aspen it'sself is never let to grow very tall, it's always cut down and mulched, for it's aspirin. there might also be any number of legumous trees, like mesquite. the problem with mesquite is the bugs, but if you have enough diversity, the bugs will have predators. another benefit of something like a mesquite tree is it's taproot that will harvest water from the deep. it is also regularly cut for the benefit of the surrounding trees. not only does that mulch provide nutrients, but it helps keep the water around.
planting a lot of tree's, like you are is ok to do in rows. (imo) the real key is diversity. another key to look at though, is the water harvesting. if it's on a slope, you might want the legumous tree's at the top, this way the nitrogen that it puts off can eventually leech to your fruiting trees.
did this answer your question? i think that you're planting a wide variety already squelches your concern. after that it's just preference.
a wind block, privacy, having the fruit tree's on the side that receives the most wind will collect airborne nutrients being blown in a storm.
there are many things like that to consider, but the biggest and most important thing is diversity. (also, diversity on the ground, so that there is a habitat for wild pollinators)
look up the study participated in by Dr. Claire Kremens of berkely. she asked the question "when honey bee's die, can we be saved by the wild pollinators" her answer was "yes. but not if we keep planning fields as monocultures"
Niiice topic, I just wanted to ask similar questions. I'm creating an orchard that will be a base for future forest garden, and it would consist of Chestnut, Walnut, Mulberry, Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry, Peach and Apricot. Couple of trees of each. In some gaps I will plant nitrogen fixing trees, like black locust, and nitrogen fixing hedge all around the orchard. Does this look enough diversified? Shrub and herb layer will have much more insect attractors, nitrogen fixers and dynamic accumulators, since I don't want to waste half of my trees only for feeding bees and trees.
I've red much about apple growing nice near to mulberry, but does this means that any fruit tree will do better next to mulberry? What mulberry actually do? Is there any other tree that is desirable in an orchard? I've red something about elderberry, but for me it will be in shrub layer, now I'm planing only tree layer.
actually as long as you don't USE it as an orchard with trees in rows with grass under them then you can still salvage your plantings by NOT growing grass but growing crops under your trees, esp perennials, beneficial insect attracting, small shrubs, ground covers, etc..but NOT grass.
you might read Gaia's garden which has a lot of good information ..and is a quick and easy read, there are others also..google forest gardening
I have some book reports on my blog with notes on what was helpful to me
Bloom where you are planted.