[permaculture] Fruit trees and swales
ktopek at houston.rr.com
Sun Mar 26 11:36:38 EST 2006
I can see that there are several opinions on this issue and that one
solution does not fit all situations. Doug is correct that Prunus species do
not like wet feet. In fact, I tend to plant them above swales, not below,
since it is usually wet where I live. Maybe the best aprroach is to tailor
the planting location to the water requirements of the species to be planted
and precipitation volumes of the region. Plants wanting dry feet above the
swale or on the berm and wet feet loving species in the swale or below the
berm. I still recommend trying to preserve the integrity of the swale and
berm for as long as possible to gain maximum benefit from the energy put
into creating the earthworks! Mulching the exposed subsoil will go a long
way in mitigating any negative effects it creates from being unearthed.
----- Original Message -----
From: <dwoodard at becon.org>
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2006 10:13 AM
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Fruit trees and swales
> Generally, fruit trees have an especial dislike for wet feet. They insist
> on their roots having access to air in the soil pores. this is especially
> true of Prunus species (cherries, apricots and peaches particularly).
> I would suggest planting them on the mounds beside the swales. If they can
> send some roots down to the damp soil, that will suit them well.
> Your initial planting area especially should have good topsoil and if you
> are expecting the roots of future growth in future to live in anything
> that is now subsoil, you should pay close attention to amending that soil
> and converting it to a reasonable facsimile of topsoil ASAP.
> It's not only a matter of adding organic material but also of getting the
> possibly toxic substances in the former subsoil with limited air access,
> removed by the soil organisms and air. It takes some time.
> Doug Woodard
> St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
> On Sun, 26 Mar 2006, R Freeman wrote:
> > Hi all,
> > In December (southern summer) our neighbour started a fire that
> > of our 4-year-old fruit trees (almost burned down our house too).
> > I am going to replace them, but this time I am thinking to put them
> > swales (contour banks/ditches). We have a nice, sun-facing slope--the
> > countours run east-west.
> > The question I have is whether the the trees should go in the dug-out
> > of the swales, uphill of the dug-out part, on the mounds, or downhill of
> > mounds.
> > Any experience, opinions, or ideas gratefully accepted.
> > Robert Freeman
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