Living Fences: Trees, Hedges and Fedges

Living Fences: Trees, Hedges and Fedges

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In this podcast episode, I discuss creating privacy or a barrier using living fences, made from trees, hedges, and fedges. 

Homestead Updates:

  • Kombucha is a success and will continue to be a long-term presence on the homestead.
  • Filling in the pond.
  • Putting up some privacy fence.
  • Major dental work
 

Homesteading Relevant News:

Hopeful Homesteaders Flock To Clintonville’s City Chicken Boot Camp – http://radio.wosu.org/post/hopeful-homesteaders-flock-clintonvilles-city-chicken-boot-camp#stream/0

 

Hangin’ Out on the Homestead Front Porch:

No question for the Front Porch this week but rather a thread made to get everyone excited and motivated for their 2018 garden. A lot of folks shared pics from their 2017 gardens and it truly was inspiring.

 

Check out the thread here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/HomesteadFrontPorch/permalink/1564707710249714/ 

and if you’re not a member of the Homestead Front Porch Facebook Group all you have to do to join is request and answer yes to a couple of questions and we’ll get you right in there.

 

Main Topic Of Discussion:

Living Fences: Trees, Hedges and Fedges

 

What Is A Living Fence?

A living fence is a permanent hedge tight enough and tough enough to serve almost any of the functions of a manufactured fence plus many extra benefits.

 

Advantages To Living Fences

  • A Living Fence offers agricultural and biological benefits a manufactured fence can’t.
  • Privacy
  • Defines borders
  • Protection and security
  • Provides edge habitat for beneficial insects, pollinators, and birds
  • Provides mulch and compost
  • Provides a windbreak
  • Can provide food
  • Can provide fodder
  • Can provide medicine
  • can provide coppice
  • Can be a beautiful addition to the homestead
 

Disadvantages To Living Fences

  • Does not provide an instant fence
  • Labor Intensive
  • Require some protection in the early years of development
  • It may be thinner and less useful in winter
 

Best Trees For Making A Living Fence

Any trees “could” be used but some work better than others for the function you’re trying to accomplish with the fence.

 

For protection and security, you may want to build the fence using locust or hawthorn for their thorns. Both have other benefits, locust making a great coppice and hawthorn offering food and medicine.

 

Planting fruit trees also can provide a great living fence especially if weaved together while they are young and flexible.

 

Some trees weave together much easier than others making them truly impenetrable. Willow is one such tree that will also provide you with material for weaving baskets and such as the trees are being pruned to desired height each year.

 

Bamboo Makes A Great Living Fence

If you’re looking for a fast-growing, thick living fence bamboo may be a good choice. You have to be aware of bamboos spreading quality though. Clumping bamboo is less likely to spread out of control and still makes a great fence.

 

Best Bushes For Making Thick Hedges

Boxwood is probably the most common for this purpose and is readily available and garden centers and big box stores.

 

Juniper is another great bush for hedges

 

Privet is another popular bush for this purpose

 

Lilac Is a beautiful shrub with some varieties reaching about 8 feet tall.

 

There are many more and it all depends on what grows best in your zone.

 

Making A Fedge (Food Hedge)

A fedge is a hedge made of bushes that go beyond the normal functions of a hedge by also providing food in the form of hips, nuts, and berries.

  • Roses
  • Elderberry
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberry
  • Currants 
  • Gooseberries
 

Today’s Recommendations:

Check out everything from Geoff Lawton on Permaculture.   http://www.geofflawtononline.com/

 

Harold Thornbro
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