Win a copy of The Edible Ecosystem Solution this week in the Forest Garden forum!

Robert Swan

+ Follow
since Sep 09, 2017
Robert likes ...
hugelkultur forest garden trees
Western WA
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Robert Swan

At -30, you might consider making them "indoor" hives in a garage or even in your home. You can take some tubing and run it fron the entrance of the hive to a hole made in an exterior wall or out a window and the bees will use that as usual. The bees will go through honey stores quicker being warm in the house, so a garage is probably the best compromise of not super cold but also not so warm as to keep the bees too active. Also, if they are in a shed right now with a normal entrance and it warms up too much they may try to fly and get lost in the indoors. In the absence of climate controlled hive wintering sheds like many pros have, they should always have easy access to outside so they can take cleansing flights whenever weather permits.

Otherwise, main things are to:
1. Keep the hives DRY. Keep the rain off and any drips that might be in the shed.
2. Wind break, but still room for "slow air" to move.
3. A lower and an upper entrance (both reduced, you can screen one if robbing is an issue as well) so air can flow through the hive.

I also use those 2" thick insulation boards, spray painted black to absorb sunlight, with an R value of 10. Moisture boards with chips are nice too if the chips are clean and sterile such as animal bedding (pine shavings). I also give sugar in the mountain camp method.
3 months ago
Hello all!

First off, these are not free. I'm selling them, but also open to trades and other barter.

I've grown out a couple hundred *pure* American Chestnut trees. These are not dunstans, not backcrossed hybrids, not GMO Americans. These are absolutely pure from a few secret sources of pure trees pollinated only by other pure trees. These have no blight resistance. They will only grow and persist west of the Rockies as we are free of the blight.

Anyways - I have had far higher germination than I expected, and far higher survival past that as well. This has left me with too many of these awesome, endangered, rare trees for me to care for on my own property.

In lieu of planting them in our woods and hoping 5-10% survive, I would rather they go out into the Permie world in groups of 3 or more to be well cared for and serve to provide genetic stock for future generations.

Especially now, with the new hybrids and GMO chestnuts being released, as well as extensive development here in the Northwest where many of the only blight-free pure American chestnuts remain, completely pure American chestnuts are going to get harder and harder to find. I would like to increase their numbers while it's still an option.

So, if you have a good place to put 3 or more, please send me a message or reply to this post and I will message you. Please plant them somewhere they are likely to persist for at least a few decades so they can produce plenty of nuts and seedlings before they are cut down by development. On that note, pure American nuts sell for as much as $1 apiece, so you could consider it a financial investment as well. I'm asking $50 for a bundle of 3 healthy trees. There will be price breaks if you buy more. Again, open to trades and barter as well.

If you have questions about their requirements or site preferences, spacing, etc, please post in the questions and I will reply for everyone to see.

I also have (way too many) other species for sale, including 15 pine nut species, 5 walnut species, ginkgo, yellowhorn, siberian pea shrub, douglas fir,  european chestnut trees, comfrey, currants, jostaberries, gooseberries, coffee, horseradish, cornelian cherry, apples, pears, jujubee, milkweed, among others. Please feel free to message me if you're interested in any of those as well.
1 year ago
Try your hand at grafting the honeycrisp on to the two suckers - then choose the best one if both take and remove the others. That graft doesn't look super happy.
2 years ago
Get as much free wood chip mulch as you can out there -  it will start breaking down and the worms will incorporate it into the soil. Save your back. Mound the existing soil, compost, and wood chips in even thirds about 2 feet high and plant into that - it will settle by at least 6 inches or a foot. Keep it watered in droughty times. I also highly recommend planting bocking 14 comfrey everywhere. It will develop a very deep taproot that will help break up your soil for drainage and make nutrients availiable to your plantings.

I have heavy clay soil that is saturated 9 months of the year and I hit standing water 18 inches down. A foot thick layer of woodchips and compost and comfrey everywhere I don't have a plant has my fruit trees and berry bushes thriving.

Best of luck to you!

P.s.those hardy kiwis always have a slow start - they'll get going fast the 3rd year.
2 years ago
I recommend contacting Nielsen Bros. We were looking into logging our property and decided to wait and let the trees grow a bit more but they were very straightforward with us giving honest opinions and produced a general profits and costs estimation for us.

2 years ago
Looks like a species of Ash to me!
2 years ago
That would be a London Plane tree Jay.
2 years ago
Chestnuts are notoriously picky about grafting - if the scions you've ordered aren't of Chinese ancestry, they are very unlikely to take.

Rule of thumb is that a european cultivar will graft to a european seedling with about a 2/3rds success rate (for professionals at least) in industry they typically even graft the cultivar on a seedling of that specific cultivar to maximize success rates.

Same goes for chinese if you use both chinese, or japanese etc.

If that cultivar fails on that tree, try another (same species) cultivar and you'll probably get another 2/3rds successful grafts. Then repeat until all your trees are eventually grafted.

As far as I know, the lines blur a bit with hybrids, but I would want at least one to match. For instance a euroXjapanese would probably work on a euro seedling, but a chinese probably wouldn't.

If some of your scions aren't at least partially Chinese, it may not be worth it to try to graft them onto it. But it may work who knows! If I were you I would look for some euro seedlings for those scions if you have any.

As far as timing, what I've seen is people leave the scions in the fridge until mid spring, after the tree has leafed out, and then graft with the dorman scion on the growing seedling. But I don't know if this is more or less successful than grafting while dormant. Probably is a delicate balance between keeping the scions fresh and grafting at the correct time.

As far as pruning that multi-stemmed tree, I would try to graft it with a different variety each stem, and then in two years when you're pretty sure the graft has taken, cut out all but one of the stems which the graft fails on. Then you'll get perhaps 3 or 4 known cultivars on one tree, plus you get to see what the quality of your seedling is! The tree is likely to be healthier in the long term if it has fewer stems rather than a whole lot. Doesn't mean it has to be one stem though!

Good luck!

2 years ago
Never tried it myself, but my mom always told me she had a tree that she used christmas lights on! Not the newer LED ones - but the old ones that would get warm/hot. String them up over the whole tree, and if the tree blooms and is in risk of late frost turn the lights on and leave them on until the danger passes. This warms the tree's vicinity a few degrees and can potentially save the blossoms and future fruit.
2 years ago