Episode-1509- Establishing Productive Living Fence Systems — 34 Comments

  1. In west Texas some people use push gates which consists of a heavy wood hate suspended on a pipe gate post and the cables that support the free end of the gate wrap around the hinder post twice in opposing directions. This creates a self closing gate that is just pushed open. They are used for goats and cattle but I’m sure it would scale down.

  2. If you use a normal human gate, you can put a doggie door from any pet store. Ours has a magnet to keep it closed; I doubt a duck could get through. Ours dogs are not the brightest of dogs and they figured out.

    • That is my primary thought too, just need to find one that is big enough for a 140 pound Maximus Shepardus.

  3. Loved this show. The more I listen and read about ducks the more I think 8 in the backyard would be better than 4 ducks and 8 chickens. I hate the chickens escaping. My situation is different than yours, me being in suburbua on less than a 1/3 acre.

    • But the topic of temp shor tfencing was great. When I have property a hedge is the way to go def. On a short fence however wysteria, grapes, kiwi, and many ofther things can be placed to hide the ugly short temp fence. Now how to manage to duck poop in 1k sq feet.

  4. hey Jack and will let you know that there is a new phone out made by cricket that snaps on your wrist and you turn your wrist sideways in the projects the phone on your forearm where you can visually touch and look at videos turn the wrist watch and shoot it on the wall so the wristwatch is coming back but it’s going to be very digital very high tech and luminescence with a camera

  5. I think the loquats woud be good for a main structural portion of the fence but something will have to be put in under the loquats canopy. From what I have seen in my neighborhood the managed and unmanaged ones umbrella real well but dont have much low branch growth and have large gaps that would need to be filled in. I can tell you one thing if you put them in in large numbers you are going to be absolutely drowning in them they are crazy productive

  6. Hi Jack, first I have question about the living fence, do you know if your ducks will eat/control the wasp that are going to move into your newly provided habitat fence? I’m in the process of designing a hugelkulture/living fence on my property street edge to keep out the local ankle biters and to keep street drainage from flooding me out. One of my problems is going to be wasp, they’re an ongoing thorn in my side now and I expect no let up with this new structure. I plan to use a good portion of native algerita from cuttings on the street side of my mound to deter breaches, then a mix of native kidney wood, mountain laurel, and fruit vines behind the algerita.
    Thanks, Tracy

    • Well ducks, chickens and geese have all be observed eating wasps, hornets and bees on my property. I doubt they will go into a nest though, seems to be a one off thing. I don’t really have issues with wasps. So long as I know where they are nested we just coexist. Until they decide to live in a pump house or something, then they gotta go.

  7. Just listening to the podcast and you mention Rugosa Rose. I live about 30 minutes from the plant propagation unit of our regional university, so I am wondering how their prices stack up to what you have seen as it being “expensive.” My wife likes roses in general, and we need some wildlife forage/barrier that functions as a decent windbreak. Any thoughts from knowledgeable folks would be great. Thanks!

    University of Idaho Seedling

  8. The place I was looking at already has a perimeter of three strands of barbed wire. In OK condition but now I’m thinking putting a hedge row that follows it around the property. Leave a few feet of space to get four wheeler with a cart behind it. Maybe two passes wide with a ridding mower.

  9. Hey Jack, great show!

    Just a quick question, I searched and could not find the apple seeds you mentioned at around the 20:00+ minute mark in the show. Nakatoba(Sp?), I googled and can’t even find a mention of them, am I just misunderstanding the type Malus Species or common name you were pronouncing?


  10. Now if there was only a way to make a living fence moveable, or at least pivot from one end. Probably not feasible tho…

  11. Departments of Conservation nurseries are a good place. Last time I looked it was about 25 cents a piece for seedlings here (Missouri), and they have Wild plum, Osage Orange, etc. I’m leaning toward mostly Osage orange, because I’m cheap, but interspersing wild plum, Pyracantha, hawthorn, etc for bee forage and whatever else pops up as interesting.

    • Well what can be done is don’t make them full length and then use moveable fence to close off areas but only short runs of it.

      • That would be intriguing.. Set it up so the corners of the paddocks are in a large plus shape, with arms 8-10 feet long. That would be your living fence, maybe with one bigger tree in the middle of the plus. Then use portable fencing in between those guilds to close off different areas.

  12. I really liked this episode. Living fences have always intrigued me. I think the creation and maintenance of living fences would be a great permaculture business 🙂

  13. Can I get some details on planting all these seedlings and how to care for them? They would be going in a thick established suburban lawn that will attempt to immediately try to take them over. How do I prep the ground? Till or no till? when should the seedlings be ordered and planted? Tennessee summers can be hot, would they need some shade while getting established.

    What about planting near or at a decorative iron fence, the hollow square stock variety? Plant off it? How far? (It depends!)

    How do we keep grass and weeds down at this hedge in the establishment phase?

    Loved the show!

    • Well care is about making sure they have nutrient and water mostly. That they are trained to the form you want, etc. That is highly specific to you and your location. On the lawn thing though, there is not a tree or bush in existence that can’t outgrow grass.

  14. I found this guy at the TNLA show a couple years ago. I getting ready to order from him assuming he has anything left. Last year he ran out before I got around to ordering. For seedlings, he seems to have some of the best pricing I’ve been able to find and he has a bunch of named varieties, not just native trees.

    here are a few examples.

    Apricot, Domestic Apple, Crabapple, Kousa Dogwood, Myro Plum, Mahaleb Cherry, Pear, Persimmon, Redbud, Red Maple, Riverbirch, Sweetgum,
    Sycamore, Tulip Poplar, White Dogwood

    6”-12”…………….$ .25
    12”-18”…………..$ .50
    18”-24”…………..$ .75

    Apple (Malus)

    Anna, Arkansas Black , Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious,

    2’-3’ Whip …………………………. $2.00
    3’-4’ Whip …………………………. $2.50
    4’-5’ Whip …………………………. $3.50
    7/16” Branched ……………………… $4.00
    9/16” Branched……………………… $5.00
    11/16” to 3/4” Branched………………… $6.00

  15. I ordered 100 american plum, 100 pecans, and 100 american hazelnuts this last spring from the IndianaDept of Natural resources. They were about $23 – $30 per hundred (they only sell by the hundred). When I planted all I wanted, I had no difficulty giving the rest away. They seem to have all survived and are doing well.

    For a fence that is duck proof and dog permiable I would just make the fence short enough for the dogs to jump and clip one wing on the ducks. (Clip one wing and they only have lift on one side. When they flap it fips them upside down.)

    I have ducks and chickens. I only want the chickens to rip up yard I want to plant. The ducks are easier to fence in. A duck (especially with a clipped wing) just doesn’t go over a 2 foot fence, although they will go through any small hole you leave. The ducks are easier to herd (chickens scatter, ducks bunch up), easier on the yard, better at feeding themselves and more fun to watch and give at least as many eggs. I lost several ducks to predators until I got a drake, haven’t lost any since then. The ducks were much happier after he came along and he watches out for them, taking them up to their house when something comes along and leading them out when the coast is clear. My wife saw him herd the ducks into a little puddle and then stand in between them and a hawk, flapping and quacking at the hawk until it left(He was trying to look big and threatening).

  16. Can anyone recommend a publication describing in detail the implementation of “Productive Living Fence Systems” in the U.S. (specifically zone 6)?

    I’ve been interested in the subject of hedgerow fences since seeing them used in Haiti to pen in/out goats. Thank you Jack for bringing the idea back to mind last fall by answering a question and now this full blown episode.

    Time for action, last fall I collected a bucket full of Osage Orange seed balls and have had them sitting in a cold, dry(ish) shed. Yesterday I ordered 225 saplings of 9 different species from Black Locust to Mulberry, Willow, and suitable beneficial shrubs from Missouri’s Dept. of Conservation.

    My goal is to perimeter fence 3 1/2 sides of my flat, rectangular shaped property, about 1500′ with a seven to eight foot high “HedgeRowFence” (HRF). Then cross fence my existing raised bed garden bed/fruit tree orchard/berry and bramble patch with about 500′ of four to five foot HRF. The perimeter HRF would be planted in a line four to five feet in width, the cross fence about two to three.

    This year’s purchase and collection is to establish a test run of two to three hundred feet, learning in the process and building a base from which to harvest cuttings in implementing the full project in 2016.

    I intend to pollard the black locust and utilize them as “fence posts” in the structure of the HRF. Osage Orange, apple, willow and mulberry laid over “English Hedgerow” style forming the bulk with the shrubs adding diversity and low to the ground fill.
    My primary goal is to break up the openness of my property both internally and to the adjoining properties which allows deer to run unimpeded, provide beneficial gain for my home’s use and wildlife as well as privacy to the slow encroachment of my neighborhood from old rural to fringe suburb.

    I’d love to see and read about fellow TSPers and others successful results in utilizing this age old proven but largely forgotten in the modern world technique to manage properties.