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Tim Engbrecht 's Profile
Tim Engbrecht
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Joined:
12/07/2014
Last Updated:
27/07/2014
Location:
Kelwood, Canada
Climate Zone:
Cold Temperate
Gender:
Male





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Parkland Permaculture

Parkland Permaculture

Kelwood, CA


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Fountain Family Pharm: A Permaculture Orchard in the Northern Boreal Forest The Ness Creek Forest Garden
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Fast, Free Forests

Posted by Tim Engbrecht about 7 years ago

An experiment in rapidly establishing windbreak in minimal time and with NO money.

Our property is subject to substantial wind effects, with nearly constant south-westerlies and massive wind events of 90km/hr occurring perhaps every second month.  As a result, it was a priority to establish some hardy windbreak before getting too far along in planting more tender food forest species.

One of the most prolific legumes in our area is caragana, and with a high water table, I knew that willow would play an important role in hedgerows as well as for coppice fuel and potentially browse (down the road).

I knew that willow cuttings would readily root based on past experience, so I harvested some whips from the road allowance and spent less than an hour planting several hundred along the neighbour's barbed-wire fence.

Some preliminary research into propagating caragana seemed to suggest that working from seed was the way to go--however this struck me as too slow and labour intensive. So: I gathered a generous heap of budding caragana prunings in the spring from a friend and conducted 3 trials:

1) I cut the prunings into appx. 30cm lengths, dipped them in commercial rooting hormone, and planted them in damp peat.

2) I placed prunings into willow-water (since new willow growth has rooting hormones in it)

3) I emulated my technique with the willow cuttings and simply pushed 30-50cm cuttings of varying diameters (both green wood AND "old wood") into the ground.

RESULTS:

1) Nearly all of the cuttings treated with the rooting hormone have successfully rooted and are supporting leaves--BUT--they are still in a disused kiddie swimming pool, and if I want to establish them before winter, they will still have to go through a transplant (which also involves more work!)

2)The prunings in the willow water grew a purple anaerobic slime, and approximately half of them died.  The surviving half were transplanted about a week ago, and they look pretty rough.

3) The "sticks shoved in the ground"--by FAR the easiest method-- has resulted in new growth in probably 80% of the cuttings! (though SLIGHTLY less than those treated with rooting compound and placed in peat)  Interestingly, there doesn't seem to be any correlation between the age/diameter of the cuttings and their vigour:  some of the OLDEST, CHUNKIEST cuttings appear to have rooted MOST successfully (?!)   ...and best of all, no further work is required from me!

My final trial involves allowing the new plantings to compete, unassisted, in a rampant patch of quack grass.  Others I will spend some time "babying."  I won't know for sure until next year, but it APPEARS that they are able to compete just FINE with the vigorous grass!

(allow me a moment, and I will get some photos)..

-Tim

Willow cutting 6 weeks %281%29 Caragana cutting 4 weeks Close up caragana cutting 6 weeks  %28rooting compound%29 Willow cutting 6 weeks in grass

Comments (1)

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Ute Bohnsack
Ute Bohnsack : Interesting. I didn't know that could work with Caragana. Willows on the other hand are really good at that. We have hammered long 3" diameter branches in the ground at times and they grow no problem. They are super (given the right soils and rainfall regime) for fast establishment of shelterbelts (plus pollen & nectar, fodder, fuelwood, wood for crafts etc.).
Posted almost 7 years ago

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Location: Australia
Date: Jan 2014
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Date: Jan 1992
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Bachelor of Education
Type: Teacher Training
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Date: Jan 1996
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Tim Engbrecht has permaculture experience in:
Cold Temperate

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