Heres the deal. I live in the sticks, west central Alabama on some land that
fronts a county road. For the past 15 years my house has been screened by
pines I planted in three close rows across about 700 feet of road front, I like
it that way. About a month ago the county road crew came by and stripped all
the limbs off my trees with a bushhog. The trees looked so bad I cut them all
down, all three hundred of them. Now I have bare ground in full sun between my
house and the county road. By the way, I would have had to cut the trees in the
near future anyway because they were beginning to touch the power lines above.
So now I have this 700 ft by 30 ft space that will need planting this spring.
I am looking for low care, dry hardy, small to medium size plants that I can
afford and lots of them. Any suggestions? GCS
How about juniper virginiana - it's native to Alabama, grows fairly slowly
to about 30 feet usually, maybe smaller, depending on soil, has fairly dense
foliage and a pleasing shape. (You might know it as southern cedar)....
Hawthorn trees -- the pink-flowering ones would take forever reaching the
wires & might never get quite that tall, but grow rapidly at first to
restore a screen. Drought hardy once established so takes no attention.
Portugal cherry (Prunus lusitanica), a medium-sized cherry tree but with
evergreen leaves. Very drought hardy & sun-loving for a no-maintenance
-paghat the ratgirl
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
300 trees?? Were the trees were located on your private property or on an
adjacent public right-of-way? I assume it's the latter, because you don't
seem upset -- if I were you I'd be screaming with anger right about now,
even if I thought I might have to cut the trees down. If the county hadn't
bushwacked them, you would have at least had the choice to either remove
them or prune way back to avoid the power lines. On the other hand, I guess
if you really wanted to remove them, the county gave you proper motivation.
email@example.com (RESPITE95) wrote in message
Some advice not strictly about the trees.
1) since you have bare ground, and you just removed hundreds of pounds
of mineral nutrients, consider spreading some rock dust and/or wood
ash while you can. Tne new trees will thank you with much faster
growth. Likewise, you may consider returning most of the chipped
branches to the place, to prepare the soil for the new planting. You
could also consider a one-off planting of a green manure, such as fava
beans right into the chips, to control weedy growth until you are
ready to replant, to fix enough nitrogen for several years (and
incidentally to obtain a free edible crop).
2) with a wood stove, you may never have to pay a heating bill again,
even though pine wood is of lower quality. I have 7 years old spruce
in my garage. All logs eventually got some sort of tunneling insect in
them (far more than the 7 years old apple logs), so you may consider
building a hoophouse or other non-wooden structure for long term
storing. With the wood ash from the stove, you have a limitless supply
of trace minerals and K fertilizer for your property.
3) with the branches chipped and the chips in a bed, or buried logs,
you can start quite an edible mushroom cultivation. See www.fungi.com.
Some choice species prefer conifer, and once they are through you can
reinoculate with compost bin species which are not conifer-specific.
All these go for more than $10/lb in the store (reishi goes for
$80/lb), and are very perishable, in fact all gourmet restaurants have
direct deals with producers. The folks at fungi will be happy to help
you, including telling you what to add (probably wood ash, since N
should be plentiful in the needles, pine woodchips piles are usually
quite hot) to make the pine wood chips hospitable to more species. The
stumps will happily host mushroom colonies which will probably last a
couple decades, in fact, the stumps and wood chips are probably what
you want to inoculate. Make sure you provide some shade.
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