• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Burra Maluca
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
gardeners:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Bill Crim
  • Mike Jay

Black Locust Trees In Orchard  RSS feed

 
Posts: 34
Location: WI Zone 5a
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have the beginnings of a permaculture orchard. I planted most of the trees about two years ago. I am modeling it after what Stefan Sobkowiak has done. He uses Honey Locust trees as nitrogen fixers in between is fruit trees.

I have black locust trees that are already growing and established in my area. So, I had used those instead of honey locust.

However, after seeing how black locust trees spread, and are very hard to completely remove if you don't want them there, I'm re-thinking the use of them in my orchard. I was thinking I can trim them to keep them smaller above the ground, but, that won't keep the root system from spreading.

Plus, the pods they drop are constantly producing new trees. I suppose I would just have to stay on top of any new ones that start to grow and pull them out before they have a chance to get established.

What do you guys think? Should I remove them now while they are still small? Or, do you think they will do the job of nitrogen fixing well and so I should leave them?

Thanks!
 
Posts: 39
Location: san diego ca
2
forest garden greening the desert purity
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
havent used black locust myself. but if your only using them for nitrogen and mulch the thorns might be annoying if its growing everywhere and the wood  decomposes really slowly . i like pioneer species to spread cause it easy to cut them back in a few minutes

but i dont like thorny mulch cause i dont have a big property and i always seem to be cutting myself. i would use alder the wood good for mushroom and fungal growth and easily coppices and bees love it.
 
Posts: 86
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Clay!

If you insist on using trees to fix nitrogen, I agree with Scott about using Alder, as long as you harvest them before size becomes an issue. Not all Alders get big, but Red Alder definitely does.  However, if you don't want to take up all that space to achive the same nitrogen fixing and fertility goals. Or deal with the additional maintenance of extra trees. Just use mixed season annuals, both cold and warm season mixes, planted in the orchard. You'll get much faster fertility. Instead of rolling the annual cover crop to terminate its growth before seed development. Just let them go to seed before you roll them, for self seeding. A good 9 or 12 species mix for both cool and warm season plantings, with a good ratio of legumes to grasses, will get fertility going! You can use woodchips to keep the annual mix or other weeds from growing to close to your trees, if you're worried about competition. Check out Living Web Farms YouTube channel, and the video mixed annual cover crops. Im confident you could adapt that method to work wonders in your orchard, and probably even use annuals that reliably reseed in your climate zone. I Am Organic Gardening YouTube channel, has also used this method to increase fertility for his peach trees with great success.

Hope that helps!
 
Posts: 442
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
15
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
you can coppice black locust before it starts to make seed. black locust grows very fast in the early years. it makes great fenceposts and tool handles when smaller . if you coppice often the locust won't have the energy to spread. some people make good money selling the young trees for the reasons i mentioned. its also the best firewood, once seasoned and burns hot for a long time. for in between the trees . , grow clover. its perenial , so you don't have to replant or till under and fixes nitrogen as well. if you want something that fixes nitrogen and gives you fruit , sea buckthorn or the thornless goumi berry are good choices also and don't get too big and stay put. could grow them around the locusts because locusts don't shade much. i grow both. they're considered super fruit.
 
Posts: 24
Location: Peacham, VT
3
duck forest garden trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Clay Rogers wrote:I have the beginnings of a permaculture orchard. I planted most of the trees about two years ago. I am modeling it after what Stefan Sobkowiak has done. He uses Honey Locust trees as nitrogen fixers in between is fruit trees.

I have black locust trees that are already growing and established in my area. So, I had used those instead of honey locust.

However, after seeing how black locust trees spread, and are very hard to completely remove if you don't want them there, I'm re-thinking the use of them in my orchard. I was thinking I can trim them to keep them smaller above the ground, but, that won't keep the root system from spreading.

Plus, the pods they drop are constantly producing new trees. I suppose I would just have to stay on top of any new ones that start to grow and pull them out before they have a chance to get established.

What do you guys think? Should I remove them now while they are still small? Or, do you think they will do the job of nitrogen fixing well and so I should leave them?

Thanks!



I think if you stay on top of mowing, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

I am actually trying to do the same thing. I shot a video of progress a few weeks ago. Check it out.

 
Happily living in the valley of the dried frogs with a few tiny ads.
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!