Armed With A Mind Armed With A Mind
armedwithamind at hotmail.com
Sun Dec 20 20:18:15 EST 2009
I appreciate the warning Doug. I am definetly wary of both manitoba maple and balsam poplars weedy tendencies. Growing up in a half acre suburban lot in Ontario there was a line of 60-80 foot tall balsam poplars on the edge of our property. As a child and teenager I had the 'pleasure' of cutting the grass for many years (probably my first nudge towards the sanity of edible landscaping), and every year seedlings from both the poplar and manitoba maple would pop up amongst the grass in droves to my amazement. I could not believe how resiliant and fast growing these two species were in the face of a half acre army of grass roots and many times I steered around the trees out of respect. In few years of vegetable gardening manitoba maple is one of the more common self seeders that has popped, regardless of whether or not there were any seed bearing species within visual distance. I've since learned about black locust as well and how it can spread like wild fire, and am amazed that I see only one around.
Here at the farm as I think I said in an earlier post, there are several dozen balsam poplars establishing in the north edge of one of the hay fields. Most are about 3-5 feet heigh and have multiple sprouts from the base of each tree. I gather this is because of being chopped up by haying equipment year after year. I figure I should use this to my advantage and keep most of them around as an eventual renewable firewood source, mulch the areas around them with woodchips and/or old hay, and in two or three years time planting compatable hardwood species amongst them in suntrap patterns and filling in hte suntraps over the next few years with a food forest. We'll see how it goes...
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