[NAFEX] Growing Voles in Mulch
hangermayer at isp.com
Thu Mar 25 12:02:51 EDT 2010
This year is the first year I've ever had a problem with voles. In the past
our ground has been too wet to sustain a vole population. It was also too
wet to sustain a tree population, so I drained the orchard area with field
tile. Now both trees and voles are doing well.
What I'm finding is trees with just wood chipped mulch don't seem to attract
voles too bad. However, on trees where I piled sticks or corn stalks (to
get rid of them) and then covered them with wood chips, there were
significant numbers of voles. It seems they like anything they can make a
roof out of, which in my experience includes sticks, corn stalks and
I'm thinking if you use unshredded shoots or sticks, you'll find yourself
out there doing the vole stomp.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Demmon" <>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 6:54 AM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Growing Mulch
Not sure where you are, but it seems like a good plan to me.
Especially if you cut them with the leaves still on, they'll provide
good mulch. Since you want as much smaller, finer material as
possible, you might also consider some shrubs as well. Many species of
shrubs will respond well and resprout vigorously after being
completely cut to the ground. Red-twig dogwood comes to mind. Shrubby
willows would be easier to manage than tree willows. And if you cut
them in the summer with leaves on, would provide food for pollinators
in the early spring. Box elder is another species that will resprout
z5 se MI
On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 10:53 AM, Evan <kodama at riseup.net> wrote:
> This may be a silly question, but as I've begun planting and planning
> my modest orchard, I've run into a lack of available mulching
> materials (or more likely, I'm just blind to what's staring me in the
> face). The orchard's in a rural area and there aren't the abundant
> flows of woodchips and leaf-litter found in the urban areas. But, in
> consideration of a future with much less energy to spend on
> woodchippers, I've been wondering what I could use for mulch.
> Right now I'm thinking I'll plant a coppice-or-pollard field
> downslope where I can take the shoots and lay as mulch around some of
> my fruit and nut trees upslope. I'm not sure which species I'll use,
> but possibly a mix of Basswood, Black Birch and maybe even Willow. My
> thinking is that if I coppice or pollard them on a fairly regular
> basis I can have a good supply of small woody shoots that will act as
> a decent mulch, break down relatively quickly and possibly enrich the
> nutrient content of the soils around my food-trees (I think Black
> Birch accumulates K, P, and Ca; Tilia P and Ca). I guess I'm
> wondering if anyone has experience with this sort of thing, what
> species you use, and how it works.
> In case it's relevant the orchard is/will-be comprised of primarily
> Hazels, Chestnuts, Crabapples, and Juneberries.
> Or maybe there's blindspot I have and this isn't a good idea?
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