I’ve put up quite a few posts about tree planting recently, but haven’t included many pictures. Weather and Logistics have been the main reason behind this, so I wanted to post some pictures that relate to recent posts, and some will give you some idea of what this place is like….. I’ve had to reduce the quality of the pictures so that they upload at a reasonable speed. Sorry.
Tree Planting around the Smallholding
Here are some pictures that go with the post
The first picture is from the Top (North) of the field, looking South, over part of the area to be planted. The house and outbuildings can be seen at the bottom of the hill.
The second picture is taken from the same place, but looking right (West).
Together they show the area that I am currently planting trees into.
The next picture shows the bottom (Southern) edge of the planting area. The trees are planted very densely, and the rows are aligned NW to SE, to act as a better windbreak against the prevailing (SW) wind.
You might be able to make out the dark patches along the bottom edge. This is kennel waste (Wood shavings and shredded paper) added to assist the early establishment of fungi.
The rows of trees are also have some woody prunings laid, for the same reason, and as a simple mulch, although there’s not enough of it to mulch effectively.
The next picture looks up the field from the Southern edge. The tall tree guards are a remnant from tree planting carried out when we kept sheep. The area was meant to be kept free of the sheep, and be reserved for haymaking, but we ran out of clean grazing, so the guards were the cheapest option. They were partially effective. Although the sheep didn’t actively try to eat the young trees, they did like a good scratch. Those trees are now three years old. Note the shadow of the photographer at the bottom of the picture…..
To explain how I’m planning to lay out the area, I’ll show a couple more pictures
This picture shows rows, from Left to Right of, an existing hedge, a fence, a row of three year old trees (row 1), a few new trees, another row of three year old trees (row 2), a gap, another row of three year old trees (row 3), etc.
All of the rows of three year old trees will have extra trees planted along them, to give a spacing of about three feet between trees, along the rows. Between rows one and two, I’m going to put in a new row, marked by the newer trees at the same spacing. This will create a block of three rows of trees, spaced quite tightly together.
Then I’m going to leave a gap between rows 2 and 3, creating a glade, bounded at the top by swales, to create more edge in the design.This is then repeated. The rows do not run all of the way from top to bottom of the field. Swales top, middle, and bottom of the blocks and glades, will help to stop the planting scheme from looking quite so linear.
After three blocks of trees, there is a much larger glade, sheltered top and bottom, within sits my existing orchard planting. Shown in the next picture.
To the left of the picture you can see the trees from the previous picture, and behind me is the windbreak planting from the picture before. North of the hives and orchard is a shelterbelt, and to the right (East) there will be a mirror of the planting pattern already described.
This will put the orchard into a larger version of the glade pattern described earlier.
Just a reminder that this area is not intended to be a Forest Garden. That’s planned for the adjacent field, the edge of which can just be seen to the right of the picture. This area is designed to produce bee forage and firewood, with food being a minor consideration. The orchard was planted before I started to apply Permaculture Principles to the design of the Smallholding, and whilst the other field was still being used to exercise racing greyhounds. However the more open area that it provides will house some beehives, and provide a more open area, with increased light, that I may use for soft fruit, or wildflowers. I’m not going to force the design. By waiting, and letting ideas bubble up in their own time, I think that I’ll come up with a stronger Permaculture Design.
I hope that the pictures have been of some use, and help to explain the erlier post.