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

Have any Black Locust fence posts anyone ?  RSS feed

 
gardener
Posts: 1932
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
217
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi All;  Two winters of 5' of snow have done in our garden fence.
Its all been removed , everything is tilled and some is planted.
I need to get the fence back up! Really hate the thought using of treated posts, also hate the thought of replacing untreated posts every 4-5 years.
I've planted my own black locust, but i'm 10 years from having any fence post material.Especially since I want rmh wood as well.

Is there any body out there in the western Montana area that has 1/2 dozen black locust posts ???  No posts... but you got a big locust tree ?  I'll come cut it for you ... Seriously, I am willing to pay or work if any one has extra black locust just cluttering up the place.
 
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
239
forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is black locust the only good wood for fencing that grows in that area? If you're going to have your own source in ten years, maybe something else can just fill that gap.  
 
thomas rubino
gardener
Posts: 1932
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
217
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Casie;
 Oh yes,we have many choices this is inland rain forest, heavy timber country.  Cedar , red fir , western larch, lodge pole pine.  Of them all the cedar would last 5-7 years.  What we don't have is any true hard wood. Birch, Alder, hemlock ,mountain maple are just not the same.
I can't tell you how many times I have built fences here. But after 35 years I hoped to have one that wouldn't fall down.
Black locust is not common here but it is here. The town of Missoula has quite a few.  Maybe a cordless ego chainsaw in the dark of night...  downtown missoula...  and after a lengthy stay in our state prison...
  I was hoping someone planted 20 years ago or even better would have been somebody with a homestead who wanted an entire tree cut up. (help feed my RMH)
Alas it seems that another "temporary" fence will surround the garden (as I have an aversion to residing in a state prison...)+ and I can watch my locust grow while the lodge pole posts rot away. Maybe I'll be lucky and my locust will reach fence post size before the garden fence caves in again...
DSCN0328.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSCN0328.JPG]
Grow faster grasshopper
 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
239
forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the picture.   I wouldn't have been able to pick a black locust from a line up.  If you lived in Texas you'd probably  be able to source mesquite trees from ranchers who'd be happy for someone else to tackle the thorns. Is there any kind of ranching community in your area?
 
thomas rubino
gardener
Posts: 1932
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
217
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Casie;  Eastern Montana is ranch land, similar to parts of Texas. Western Montana is heavy forest with mainly national forest land.  My buddy suggested drill steel ...  
 
Posts: 96
Location: New Zealand
19
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


Thomas, are you expecting to get fence posts from that pictured tree in 10 years? Will it have enough heartwood by then?

I've done a lot of planting of durable trees here too, and some people talk about using them at 10 years old, but my experience is that it would take some pretty special genetics to have durable heartwood in 10 years on most sites. I'm mostly growing Eucalyptus, and even the best trees I've got seem to have a massive increase in heartwood percentage starting at ages from 15-25. Robinia is slower growing in my climate than Eucalyptus, so I'm picking my Robinia will be 20-30 years old before adequate heartwood. If they grow that much faster there, I wonder why?
 
thomas rubino
gardener
Posts: 1932
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
217
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Ben;
I'm hoping 10 years ... your most likely spot on about it really taking 15-25 years.  My only source of information is on line.  I certainly will be getting firewood by 10 years.  I have read that black locust thrives in my northern climate if it gets full sun.   We shall see.

The other thing is personal vanity...  I'm 60 years old... if i say 10 years I can still see myself building fences at 70...  but if I think 25 years then i'll be 85 and I hope i'm NOT building any fences then!  I hope at 85 I am still burning my rmh and looking out the window at my 10-15 year old black locust fence..

I also have a line on some local(missoula) 5-6' tall locusts whips that would mature faster.  
 
Ben Waimata
Posts: 96
Location: New Zealand
19
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

thomas rubino wrote: I'm 60 years old... if i say 10 years I can still see myself building fences at 70...  but if I think 25 years then i'll be 85 and I hope i'm NOT building any fences then!  
I also have a line on some local(missoula) 5-6' tall locusts whips that would mature faster.  




I hear you on that one, most of what I'm doing now will be for the benefit of next people who farm this place and not for me, but it's still the right thing to do. If I'm still around at 85 I probably be so worn out I will not be capable of putting in a fence even if I want to.

Why will these new locust whips be faster, genetics or because the size they're at now? Robinia is a tree I've been interested in for 30 years, but there are so many examples of bad trees in this country it's hard to commit to growing them unless I was confident they would grow straight for me. I wish someone had done some serious genetic work on this species to get straight trunks and less thorns. With N-fixation and good flowering, Robinia is close to the perfect tree, but not quite.

This is what my Eucalyptus look like at 10 years in the ground, never been pruned or looked after in any way since planting. It makes it hard to get excited about other genera unless they can compete with this growth.


 
thomas rubino
gardener
Posts: 1932
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
217
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nice trees Ben! My wife wanted to know if you have koala bears eating on them... she dreams of visiting N.Z. , but hates flying so she will never go.
The robinia whips in missoula do not have better genetics (that I know of), they are just bigger than my little guys.  They also were grown here in the NW versus the east coast bare root stock I started with. Of course digging them up and transplanting will put them into shock so... who knows how well they will do.
I agree , would have been sweet if somebody had worked with this genetically  to reduce thorns and have straighter growth. If they had we would have forests of robinia again like we did here 200 years ago.  In Virginia they have historical buildings built in the 1700's with black locust posts in the dirt and they are STILL supporting the buildings ! WOW!
I was 27 when I bought this property , I wish I had known about robinia then ...By now,  I would have had a thriving fence post bushiness and a small sawmill cutting premium boards, as well as all the rocket mass heater wood I would ever want!
Well dream into this hand and XXX  in the other and see which one fills up...  I'll start the dream late and the next guy can decide if they want to continue my plan or they can attempt to cut down the thorny buggers !
DSCN0280.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSCN0280.JPG]
Western Montana
 
Posts: 10
Location: Zone 4, MT
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want to plant black locust. my last batch grew like weeds but didnt overwinter - someone please tell me it'll grow here in MT. i have a nice bunch of honey locust seedlings that look like they are wintering well.
 
thomas rubino
gardener
Posts: 1932
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
217
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Olin;
What part of MT are you in ?  Missoula has many black locust on the collage campus and downtown.   The old school yard in Paradise, MT has massive huge ones filling the school yard.

Mine are trying to grow. I lost another one this summer to some illness.  Winter does not seem to effect them.  2 years ago the deer ate every leaf...   they came back just fine in the spring.

Keep trying Olin, they will grow here!   I've already ordered a few more bare root stock to plant this spring.  I'll keep trying, maybe if I keep going, in a hundred years western Montana will have a forest of black locust !
 
gardener
Posts: 2867
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
122
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bigger trees transplanted do not necessarily translate to bigger trees a decade later. When I started developing my house area, there was a bit of field that I wanted to be hemlock grove. I dug up a dozen or so saplings mostly 2' to 4' and one 6-7' tall... after a few years, the smaller ones were bigger and stronger than the original big one.

I transplanted a 5' tall white oak next to my front door, and it grew fine until a borer ringed the top couple of feet, when it sent out a sucker from the roots. That quickly grew as tall as the original, then was ringed by a borer too. The third sucker escaped borers, and within a few years was bigger than either of the first two. Thirty years later, that sucker is a significant white oak tree, with two minor side trunks that I never had the heart to cut off.
 
olin erickson
Posts: 10
Location: Zone 4, MT
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I planted that first batch over in the Flathead, they were 18" bare-root mailorder and some grew to near 6' that one season... all 25(?) died. I stopped watering early but I think they didn't enter dormancy right in the fall. Glad I could get some encouragement. Skeeter might be onto something that trees dont really like to be transplanted. Anyway, I may have to forage some seed later this year.  I got a bit from twistedtree, but it won't be nearly enough to make a hedge for my East of the Divide orchard project. Thanks!
 
Ben Waimata
Posts: 96
Location: New Zealand
19
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

thomas rubino wrote:Nice trees Ben! My wife wanted to know if you have koala bears eating on them... she dreams of visiting N.Z. , but hates flying so she will never go.




Hi Thomas,


I missed this last time around sorry. No Koalas here, I live in New Zealand and koalas are native to Australia (2000+km away).

Well I planted another 300 robinia this last season, looks like I'm back in the game!
 
thomas rubino
gardener
Posts: 1932
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
217
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good Day Ben;  

Well that shows you how much hick Montanans know about the other side of the world!   We thought you had koala bears... lol
Congrats on your new future robinia forest !
 
Ben Waimata
Posts: 96
Location: New Zealand
19
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

thomas rubino wrote:Good Day Ben;  

Well that shows you how much hick Montanans know about the other side of the world!   We thought you had koala bears... lol
Congrats on your new future robinia forest !



Hi Thomas,

Very sorry if I came across pedantic or otherwise made you feel like a hick! Absolutely no reason why you should  not think we have koalas, we do have other Aussie fauna naturalised here, like possums, wallabies, rosellas etc. Mostly they become pest species, but koalas are so cute I doubt anyone would be upset if they were here.  No reason you should know the difference between NZ and Australian fauna anymore than I could tell the difference between critters you might find in the woods in Montana as compared with those found in Alaska or Florida. And as for 'hick', I think I've got that down pat myself. Although I concede I usually use the word 'peasant'  to describe myself after looking at my bank statement!


Ben
 
Fire me boy! Cool, soothing, shameless self promotion:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!