[permaculture] nitrogen-fixing trees in temperate climes

Lisa Rollens rollens at fidnet.com
Fri Aug 8 23:38:14 EDT 2008

Thank you, Rain, for your reply.  It was as I expected.  I just couldn't see 
any reason for N2 fixing trees not fixing nitrogen in temperate climates.

I, too, like black locust trees and have planted 75-100 each year for the 
past several years.  This has been on a hillside, with the plan to use them 
for coppicing for firewood.  However,  I have been thinking of planting them 
among my young orchard trees thinking that maybe the locusts will help keep 
frost damage from being so bad.  Maybe I should use elaeagnus (autumn olive) 
instead???  The fruit trees are mostly standard size, so maybe taller black 
locust would protect them better?  I don't know, am just thinking out loud. 
Well, ok, in type!  Any feelings?

I wasn't familiar with the "silk tree" that you mentioned, and so looked it 
up.  Mimosa!!  Around here mimosas are VERY invasive!  As a matter of fact, 
I have them coming up all over from the stick mulch I use.  I will read more 
about them and see if they might be useful, too.  Thanks for the idea!

Lisa, also big on planting trees!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rain Tenaqiya" <raincascadia at yahoo.com>
To: <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 10:00 PM
Subject: [permaculture] nitrogen-fixing trees in temperate climes

Your friend is full of nitrogen. Various trees are notorious for the effect 
of their nitrogen-fixing symbionts. Red alder repair clearcuts in Cascadia. 
Elaeagnus species reportedly increase nearby fruit tree output by 10%. Just 
pull up any acacias and smell all the ammonia coming off the roots.

Black locusts are my friends. I also love silk trees (Albizia julibrissins). 
These trees cast light shade that actually increase the productivity of most 
food plants in hot climates.

I wish I could get ahold of some Casuarina suitable for California. These 
are planted widely in Hawai'i, New Guinea, and their native Australia, but 
for some reason are not common, here.

Plant some trees today!


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