This has been a busy spring filled with tree planting. I planted hundreds of fruit and nut trees, both in the nursery and in permanent locations. One of these plantings was the beginning of a permanent paddock system with hedgerows and useful shade trees. Each hedgerow has widely spaced hickory/pecan trees with basswood, willow, mulberry, and elderberry planted between. Some apple and pears will probably be added later in between the larger nut trees.

Everything but the pecan/hickories, which will give shade and delicious nuts, will be coppiced to create a dense hedgerow impenetrable to the cows, thus removing the need for electric fence. The coppiced species will also yield forage for the cattle and berries and poles for us.  The site is in a floodplain which has standing water on the downward side for part of the year, so most of the species I planted are ones that do well in wet locations.

For now the cattle are fenced off from the trees so they don’t eat the tender growth. In a few years the hedge will be the fence and they will be free to keep it trimmed.