Kevin Collignon

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since Dec 25, 2018
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forest garden food preservation homestead
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Recent posts by Kevin Collignon

I am currently planning my food forest for my new property. The area that are that I'm planting is full of old growth and pine and oak. It's not a closed canopy but the entire understory is over grown with trifoliate orange, cherokee rose, yaupon, and chinese privet.

I was thinking about trying to plant blueberries around the pine trees. The thought is that the pine trees provide a more acidic environment in the soil that would benefit the blue berries.

Has anyone done this before that can share their outcome or maybe if it failed what they think went wrong?

1 month ago
I have some very large oaks that may do well as roosts for them. I have basically no experience with have poltry of any kind so guinea fowl sound right up my alley. Now I just need to track down a good source for them.
2 months ago
With guinea fowls if they go un-cooped will they roost in trees? In the food forest area there is a number of large trees that they could roost in if that is some thing they will do.
2 months ago
I am in the process of moving to a new property where I am going to have a large garden space they merges into a large natural/food forest the whole area will eventually be fenced in the with osage orange living fence. I want to introduce some kind of poltry that I can mostly let free roam the fenced in area as pest control.  I have no interest in eating them or using their eggs for food so I was wondering if there are any chicken or duck varieties that are well suited for this type of living with me being involved in they're lives as little as possible?
2 months ago

Phil Stevens wrote:What is the timeline and how big are the trees? If you've got a few weeks before they have to go, I would recommend digging around the largest possible root ball that you will be able to lift, then boxing or bagging them with a good compost mixture. Use a sharp spade to cut the roots as cleanly as you can in the shape of an inverted cone. Prune back the branches to reduce the transpiration demands and water well. Shade cloth will also help.

If you don't have the lead time and they need to go now, the same process applies without the time spent in the boxes or bags awaiting travel. Speaking of travel, covering with tarps is important if they're going in the back of a pickup or on a trailer at highway speed, as the wind will really suck moisture from them. Having planting holes ready at the other end is ideal, but if you can't manage that then keeping them in a nursery at the new location and planting them in the autumn or winter should be ok.

I have a little bit of lead time and most of my trees have max trunk thickness of about 2"  so I'll try your suggestion and start trying to cut and bag them. And as far as travel we don't have to go very far and not at high speeds so that shouldn't be too much of a issue.

I'm going to try transplanting some of them into a existing wooded area that has old growth oaks so they should get some shade in the worst part of the day.
3 months ago
I appreciate the feedback. Being in south east Texas we have brutal summers and my trees are struggling as it is where they currently are so it I'm hoping maybe the change will be beneficial to them even though I know their going to have issues with the heat in the summer and us being in the middle of a drought.
3 months ago
I am currently in a difficult position. I have a extensive planting of fruit and nut trees that are all still young but we suddenly have to move and I want to try and take as much as I can with me.

I need transplant as much as I can as soon as possible but it being summer I was wondering if anyone has any advise on how to try to give the trees the best chance of survival during a hot dry season?

I thought about leaving them where they are but the new people moving to the property will most likely just mow them down because they don't have any care for food growing or nature in general.
3 months ago

J Davis wrote:Does the trifolate orange bear fruit currently?

If not, might be a sign that overstory clearing would be beneficial. Thinning the pines could be easist. The acorns from the oak would help support ecosystem diversity squirrels, deer, etc

Have you researched the usefulness of the species you are removing? You might consider flagging a few well placed of each current variety to keep.

The species you mentioned replacing them with are more susceptible to various maladies. Ie, higher maintenance.

As for the task at hand, a bobcat with brush clearer on the front would likely be fastest way. If you can find native varieties of target species, that could help keep maintenance reasonable.

Other understory species to consider: pawpaw, persimmon, wild plum, blueberry, huckleberry.

Yes there is a over abundance of fruit on the trees. And I don't plant on completely destroying the entire understory only to thin it and make space for new species. I have a large variety of young fruit and nut trees currently on my property that will be moved once they go dorment to the new property. They are currently struggling to grow and even survive in the open exposed ares that they are currently in.
4 months ago

Steve Thorn wrote:Are you considering clearing some of the overstory?

I wasn't planning on it because it's not currently a closed canopy. There's large trees are spaced out but there are quite a few younger trees that if left to their own devices would eventually grow up and fill all the gaps.

I'm just trying to figure out if others people ever do what I'm planning to do. I haven't really been able to find in good resources on it.
4 months ago