[permaculture] Greetings (attempt #7)

Keith Johnson keithdj at mindspring.com
Fri Dec 25 20:24:13 EST 2009

Permaculture Canada seems to be active and with a new webpage at 
I'm not a member so I can't view the forum to tell if its very busy or not.

When planting for coppiced mulch trees they can be very close, as much 
as 1-2 ft between. Your rotation cycle for the particular diameter of 
crop you intend to harvest will also determine spacing. For example, I'm 
coppicing willows for basketry, mulch, screening and fodder with 2 ft 
spacing in row and 3 ft between rows. It's a small patch with about 12 
trees that are now about 8-10 ft tall but I will keep them in the 5-8 ft 
range to maintain screening between us and our neighbors. We also 
planted several leguminous tree / shrub species right in our garden with 
the idea that they will be used for mulch, fodder, trellis, and shade. 
See the article in issue # 40, Coppice-with-Standards: New Forestry with 
Ancient Roots by Peter Bane. If you don't have that issue you can get a 
copy for $10US....or you can read it (without the illustrations) at 
Balsam poplar is very wet tolerant and often found on streambanks so I'd 
put them in the wet spots if they're not too far from their usepoints. 
Your planned use of the maples and oaks (e.g., tapping, mushrooms, etc) 
will indicate whether they can be closer or further from the poplars. If 
you are rigorous in regularly harvesting the poplar you can have them 
quite close, but since they kind of like to be a thicket it probably 
best to keep them at a distance so that you can access the other 
trees....which is why I keep the willows mostly in their own zone (with 
the exception of some smaller species like the ornamental japanese and 
the corkscrews). You probably want to keep them away from leachfields or 
constructed wetlands to avoid clogging them.

Still not sure why so many of my emails failed to reach the list and 
that is still a bit disturbing to me. Lawrence could offer no explanation.

Armed With A Mind Armed With A Mind wrote:
> Hi Keith, thanks for the links, and for reminding me about Ian Graham. I've been meaning to contact him after seeing that youtube video a few weeks ago. I've been sifting through the over 3000 videos on youtube that come up under a 'permaculture' search. I'd also heard of this fellow from Orangeville but until now didn't have a contact. I plan to go on an Ontario farm tour this spring before the gardens become too demanding, and both of those places are on my wishlist. I'll look into those other contacts you sent me as well.
> I've been to the permaculture canada website several times, especially on the old version that had the forum. Do you know if the permaculture canada website is still active? It hasn't been updated since the end of june. I assume thats because those who run the site are too busy but just wanted to check incase you had some inside info.
> Would you be able to recommend an optimal spacing between each balsam poplar if the plan is to chop for mulch and firewood, and do you know how far away from other hardwoods they should be, say oaks or sugar maples? 
> Did you figure out why your emails weren't sending to the list or was it blind luck that it finally got through? I hope this is not a recurring problem for you. 
> Travis
>> Travis,
>> Sounds like you have a beautiful site with much promise. I'd echo the 
>> recommendations about chinampas.
>> Have you linked up with permaculturist / farmer Ian Graham near Hamilton 
>> (Dundas), Ontario? He's got a 25 acre site there that Peter Bane and I 
>> have been helping to design over the last three years.
>> Keith


Keith Johnson
"Be fruitful and mulch apply."
Permaculture Activist Magazine
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