How to avoid run away trees

chickencoupeOctober 31, 2013

I'll be terracing a big area for the gardening over time.

The terrace structure or retaining wall, if you will, is going to be utilizing as much tree trash as possible (prunings and coppicing trash trees)

Which of these will not sprout easily?

Slippery Elm

As you experts might imagine, Poplar is the most readily accessible. The horizontal rod supports need not bend so they can be completely dead. Is it still risky to use poplar like this?

I guess there's a risk for any of these used horizontally.

Thanks for your time

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

is going to be utilizing as much tree trash as possible (prunings and coppicing trash trees)


i dont have a clue what this means???.. can you elaborate???

as the structure itself.. or as backfill???

or what???

what happens in a few years.. when all the wood rots??? .. a retaining wall made of rotten wood.. is called landslide after a good rain ....

any oak i know ... will not root ... i dont know live oak ....

poplar.. suspended in the air.. i doubt it will root down.. thru the air ... to mother earth ..

dont know about the rest


    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 4:50PM
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wattle fencing

no greater than 6" elevation

There's no need to be obtuse. I merely failed to mention the type of retaining wall.

If this is too stressful for you, might I suggest you let someone else answer?

Thank you

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 4:57PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I don't get it. Ken does a great job trying to cover your questions. He admits that your post isn't clear, but still does his best. He was even on the look-out for you by mentioning potential problems. Then you scold him and call him "obtuse". Makes me wonder if you really want an answer or just want to fuss at the rest of us when we try to give you one!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 6:51PM
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Haha I read the post and had no clue what was trying to be said either...wattle fencing can be pretty but are you sure it's a good idea to be using it to be supporting the weight of the soil over the long term?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 7:04PM
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When you ask Which one of these will not sprout easily?I assume your concern is that they will root in and start to grow. If that's the case Pecan & Oak are the ones least likely to sprout and grow.
For erosion control sometimes we use "live stakes" of Willow and Red Osier Dogwood. These are stuck in the mud in March and will root in and grow. AFAIK these are the only two species that are routinely used for that purpose.
I have seen fence posts of Black Locust put in the ground during the Winter. When Spring comes they will sprout and sometimes put on several inches of growth but this eventually dries up and dies.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 7:29PM
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Yeh. I figured it would be the Pecan and Oak based on the way I see them grow in the past. But I've only been paying attention to this for the last five years while the trees suffered from drought. Some are dying. We've received good rain this year. Because they're stressed, I guess, the pecans have been shooting up sprouts all over the place making their growth behavior unclear.

I wanted to try and alleviate any massive problems with our future food supply. I'm working by hand and shovel.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 8:54PM
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I am going to go out on a limb and say you need to be specific on your area of the country and the native plant life that is prolific there.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 12:06AM
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Oklahoma But most do not understand Oklahoma climates as evident in my last post. In case you do: I am in a distinctive micro climate in central (slightly north) Oklahoma near Orange Country (Oklahoma Cowboys).

If we (in my area) receive normal winter moisture, the drought will end and not return before fall 2014 or spring 2015, if it returns. It is possible for drought to return considering 2/3rd of the state is still in extreme/exceptional drought. I'm just in a lucky pocket. I keep uncovering my garlic to allow the soil to dry. But that's Oklahoma. It's wicked. making things even more complicated is my zoning which actually lies right on the border of 7a/6b. I never know what I'm getting.
For the most part it remains pretty here in comparison to more southern dry areas, but not as cold as my neighbors a couple miles north. Crazy.

Everything... even things I haven't seen here in ten years is jumping to get re-established. The soil is rich, but it wasn't so 2 years when I observed a near-conversion to desert. Were it not for the importation of trees, a dust bowl would have been evident. Even so, many are dying now.

The harsh drought in 2011 penetrated and pulverized deep into the dark clay creating sandy loam mixed with small clumps of clay/humus to a depth as great as 12" in some areas. Amazing to find that even a severe drought has its purpose. It was so hot that year we packed up the family and left for North Carolina. It's hard on the wee ones.

This year's moisture kick-started invasive weeds and deeply rooting plants like bind weed, to my demise, but aided further loosening of the clay soil. That moisture brought back the wild sorghum, plantain, nettle and amaranth, lambs ears (e.g) into a nutritionally dense and organic Eden according to the excellent soil test results. My rabbits are very happy.

Heck, I have not seen poke weed in more than 15 years in Oklahoma except in heavy thickets in rural areas. It's right outside my back door growing through the concrete slabs I had the kids rake leaves in the yard for leaf mold bins today. I had this weird feeling looking at all those yellow poplar leaves. I felt that way because I haven't seen any fall leaves in three years. In the drought they drop off the trees in August and burn right into the top soil making the early spring flowers quite happy.

No plodding or treading in this area by animals or humans for more than 3 decades other than mowing

I hate to pop the surface vegetation. I loosen it inch by inch by hand retaining as much beautiful dirt as possible and IMMEDIATELY covering it up with anything appropriate that I can find making sure I have that cover material/bedding nearby. I feel as if I am murdering it. I hate it, but we need to eat next year.

My biggest challenge with a silly wattle fence is burying it to withstand occasional 50mph winds (outside of a storm). All these are dependent upon my crude math skills and some trial and error. If the calculations I have, thus far, are correct I will not need anything greater than a 4" retainer for erosion control around the garden beds where the slope is not steep but long. One area drop-offs off steeply at the edge of the property taking all that beautiful soil with it. Right outside the fence line in all other directions is typical red clay. Incredible.

I've plenty of poplar growing in my other lot to coppice for replacement retainers as I work toward natural irrigation. I'll be changing the fencing around. So, really, nothing is permanent until irrigation is resolved.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 1:05AM
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