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wildlife and edible hedgerow

zengeos
zengeos
Gorham, ME
Post #: 167
As those of you who attended the Tuesday monthly meetup know, I have a little problem with wind coming from the North West.

As luck would have it, while doing a search for companion plants to my Elderberry and Juneberry bushes coming Monday,I came across an interesting link to a book by Sally Jean Cunningham called Great Garden Companions. The excerpt had a diagram for a bird attracting hedgerow. Plants like Snowberry, Juneberry, bearberry, cranberry and buffaloberry, along with other plants, including Rugosa Rose.

So, I think this gives me a rough blueprint for my windbreak, with the existing Rose as a foundation of the hedge, going up the slope to the North.

I think I might skip the snowberry as it is not edible to humans, though.. Perhaps I could use a Catalpa tree as my overstory tree? The large 12" heart shaped leaves are impressive to look at.

The first highbush blueberry would be the Northern edge of the hedgerow, I think.

Here's a link to an excerpt. The diagram is on page 123 of the excerpt.

bird friendly hedgerow
A former member
Post #: 120
Catalpa is a great tree though seldom planted, I suppose because some people find it "messy". But the spring flowers are so beautiful and I actually love the long pods as well. I planted one in Boothbay and it's a very fast grower and will take any kind of soil and yet do well.
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 380
Mark - when planning your hedgerow (great idea btw!), remember that you will take the mature height of the planting (say... 6 feet) times 6 = about 36 feet to see where the "diverted wind" will land back on your property. A taller hedgerow or planting of trees will give more protected distance but will be, of course, slower growing. So just plan on where you want that wind to "drop" back into your yard....
zengeos
zengeos
Gorham, ME
Post #: 168
Thanks for the reminder on the wind flow, Lisa.

The Catalpa grows to around 50 feet eventually, and I may move one of my evergreens into the hedgerow to provide further cover/variety.

As for the edibles portion...here's an interesting site some of you might be interested in. It lists a wide variety of edible berries. It doesn't give purchase info, but it does give sites.


Purdue Horticulture/Berry summary


High Country Gardens seems to be the only place I can find Buffalo Berry, and, because it isn't self fruitful, I'll have to order 3 of them. It's quite flexible, though...can tolerate very dry as well as very moist. So, if I don't buy it this year, it's on my short list of plants to buy.

High Country Gardens
zengeos
zengeos
Gorham, ME
Post #: 169
Mary, we had 2 Catalpas where I grew up in Standish :) Liked them then and like them now! :)
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 159
You could make a nice low maintenance hedge with highbush blueberry, chokeberry (not choke cherry), bay laurel, sweet gale, cranberry viburnum, other viburnum, service berries, elderberry etc. All are edible or medicinal and found in the wild.
zengeos
zengeos
Gorham, ME
Post #: 170
That's the idea. It will also act as a distinct break between the neighbor's expanse of grass and my, hopefully, forest garden and sheet mulched beds.

I planted 4 apple trees, a catalpa, a red Maple and 2 hazelnut trees. The Catalpa, Red Maple and Hazelnuts are part of the hedgerow, the Apples are along the ridge, but slightly protected. I'm not 100% sure they are planted in optimum locations, but at least it's a start.

The hedgerow will have to be split somehow as my blueberries are on the other side of it. oops!
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 162
If you change anything you might consider getting rid of the red maple. It can be a horrible weed tree with long thirsty roots. You will be pulling up hundreds or thousands of baby trees every year as I do. If allowed to grow they become ultra crowded junky stands in no time. I'm not crazy about them but I have too many to eradicate. Wild mushrooms do not like them much at all. You can grow shiitake in the cut logs though.....
Aaron P.
user 6845673
Falmouth, ME
Post #: 33
You could make a nice low maintenance hedge with highbush blueberry, chokeberry (not choke cherry), bay laurel, sweet gale, cranberry viburnum, other viburnum, service berries, elderberry etc. All are edible or medicinal and found in the wild.

Can you grow bay laurel in Maine? I thought it was a southern tree.
zengeos
zengeos
Gorham, ME
Post #: 171
I think Bay Laurel is around Zone 8?
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