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Thread: Planting trees

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  1. #1
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Planting trees

    My old home place is growing up with trees growing up in the pasture I'm seriously considering planting 300+ souwood trees on the pastureand also a assortment of poplar and black locust.do you folks think this would be economical feasible.knowing it would be 7+ years before I saw a drop of honey from this plantings.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    I'd like to know about this, also. I've thought about doing plantings, though a few every year. I'm just a bit north of you. -js

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Depends on how much you spend on the trees... and bees.

    I like to have plants/trees that have different bloom times, so my ladies always have a natural food source (spring-early fall). I think diversity is key - in bees and in their food supply. Sourwood is nice, as far as honey flavor is concerned, but why not mix it up a bit more for the sake of the bees?

    I just planted sourwood, bee bee trees, golden rain, silver lindens, pear, apple, honey locust, pussy willow, yellow poplar (tulip trees), and washington hawthorns trees on my property. I also am planning on planting a wildflower/pollinator garden on my land - plant diversity in mind. I, and my bees, probably wont see the benefits from the recently planted trees for several years. However, I certainly believe I'll be in a better environment for beekeeping in 6 or 8 years because of the relatively small investment now.

    I'd rather not have to replace bees... the extra honey is nice too.
    "Life will find a way - it always finds a way." -Jurassic Park (MOVIE/BOOK)
    USDA Zone 5a

  4. #4
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    Mar 2011
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    Slidell, LA, USA
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    You could always start with a more managable number of trees and then plant part of the pasture with an annual. That way you are feeding your bees as you start the orchard.

    I'd be curious what would generate more income. Honey trees or nuts? I am developing a pecan orchard and thinking about canola, alfalfa and or buckwheat in the front pasture for the bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    I am jealous - I wish to have more space for more plants for my bees! I do not think that planting anything diversified and nature-friendly may be economically sound in the short term. It is more about natural, healthier diverse environment, which is normally does not count by commercial operators...

    When trees are small, you could plant a lot of stuff between them as a"filler". It may be simple as clover or some other bee-friendly plants. The major issue (and money) is watering before plants established - there in SoCal this is a big issue, but may be your situation is different. Ideally,you could create a mixture of flowers and small bushes between young trees, which will provide huge diversity! Sounds like great project! Good luck! Post pictures!
    Серёжа, Sergey

  6. #6
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    Sep 2012
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    West St. Paul, MN, USA
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Hey all - As far as I am concerned, we can never plant too many trees. The world needs more trees, and if they can provide forage for bees AND food for us humans, even better. Getting an orchard or a forest started does not have to be expensive. Know what you want, start from seeds, learn how to graft, and contact extension agencies - there are discounted and even free trees available! Here is a great video from food-forest and Permaculture guru, Geoff Lawton, he shows you how to do just this, planting a food forest that will have benefits for humans, bees, and the planet. Granted, he is in Australia, so adapt his ideas for your local bio-region.....

    Last edited by Autonomy Acres; 11-29-2012 at 08:58 PM.
    www.autonomyacres.com Discussions on Urban Homesteading

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
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    553

    Default Re: Planting trees

    If you are looking into planting trees, consult your State Forest Nursery program for good deals on trees for planting. When I purchased an acre lot 13 years ago, I ordered some from the Missouri Dept of Conservation. $40 bought me about 200 trees of different species. I picked them up at the nursery in a little bundle, they were all 1 year seedlings. They took off well, I have almost complete shade now in the summer and have cut several for firewood to thin them out.

    The seedlings look sickly at first, all bare root twigs. You pick them up in Feb or March before spring thaw and stab them into the ground. But they take off fast and usually do better than larger balled root trees.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    If your primary objective is to make honey, then I'd only plant trees that are known to produce a good crop in your area. Sourwood is a great honey, but if you're not getting some now, your area might not have the right conditions to produce a surplus. If sourwood thrives in your area and consistently produces honey, then it might be a great choice. Tulip popular are also a great honey producers, but it takes about 10 years until you will see any blooms. Locus are also slow growers and very inconsistent honey producers, at least in my area. One of the largest nectar producers is linden trees (basswood). This is probably more true further north. It grows pretty fast and produces lots of nectar, but again, make sure it is suitable for your area and intention.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Olmsted County, MN USA
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    I'll second @kirk. Diversity of nectar and pollen across the season trumps a varietal honey, imho.

  10. #10
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    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    I would go ahead with the trees you can never have too many trees. Plant them for bees, wildlife, reforestation, fruit crop, lumber and also increase to your land value. I would pick a wide variety. If you have deer you might need to protect young trees with some kind of wire cage. You want to look at blooming times, cover as much of the year as you can.

    My goal is to eliminate the dearth. Late winter- Early spring when the bees first come out--trees like red bud and witch’s hazel bloom very early and could be just enough to keep a hive low on stores from starving. Mother Nature has the rest of spring and early summer taken care of. Look for stuff that blooms into the summer that is drought restraint. Look for pollen that is very good for bees like willow and rape seed.

    You might also consider wildflowers and weeds which can pack on the honey, some the same year you plant. Many seeds can be scattered. Some can be planted on unusable land like ditches, steep slope, fence lines, tree lines and road sides like aster and golden rod (both are easy to collect this time of the year and just as easy to spread-wind dispersed)

    I have scattered goldenrod (varieties bloom throughout the fall), white aster (later summer-fall bloom), New England aster (a little later in the fall) and Mountain Mint (drought restraint blooms later summer after the dearth has started). I like this one it has lots of small flowers in a cluster and the bees worked it nonstop for a month during our worst drought since the dust bowl. It grows in any soil. I heard if you fertilize it, it get lots more blooms.

    I have a few acres set aside for spring planting of Borage (blooms into the summer), Phacelia Tansy (drought restraint) and Yellow Clover (later spring-early fall) and Mountain Mint (harvested my own seeds have lots of extras)

    http://www.themelissagarden.com/TMG_Vetaley031608.htm

    Here's where to buy seed for two from the list.

    http://shop.wildseedfarms.com/Purple...ductinfo/3334/

    http://www.everwilde.com/store/Borage-Herb-Seeds.html

  11. #11
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    May 2010
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    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    You have selected some species that are known nectar producers. You might want to check and see if American Basswood will do well in your area. Think about planting sweet clover as a cover crop. It will provide nectar until the trees come in.

    You may want to consider interpanting some pines. They will encourage the nectar trees to grow taller and provide a wind break. They may also be more attractive to the deer to rub.

    Once the nectar trees mature the pines cen be removed to provide more space.

    I think the sourwood may do better with a little shade too.

    Tom

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Quote Originally Posted by kenr View Post
    My old home place is growing up with trees growing up in the pasture I'm seriously considering planting 300+ souwood trees on the pastureand also a assortment of poplar and black locust.do you folks think this would be economical feasible.knowing it would be 7+ years before I saw a drop of honey from this plantings.
    It is just my opinion but I think the bees would prefer humans didn't screw up their habitat. In other words leave it alone.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #13
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    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    I've been planting Tetradium Daniellii trees, wish I could grow Manuka
    Cheers,
    Drew

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    It is just my opinion but I think the bees would prefer humans didn't screw up their habitat. In other words leave it alone.

    So your saying just let it grow up with oaks and hickory and pinetrees how does that help honeybees?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Ignore Acebird in this thread. He seems to care more about his post count than the actual quality of his comments.
    As stated before, diversity is key. Bees will benefit from adiverse plant selection.
    "Life will find a way - it always finds a way." -Jurassic Park (MOVIE/BOOK)
    USDA Zone 5a

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Quote Originally Posted by kenr View Post
    So your saying just let it grow up with oaks and hickory and pinetrees how does that help honeybees?
    Are you saying those are the only vegetation growing or the only ones YOU are concerned with?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Acebird, did your bees come from your land? ...or did you buy them? My guess is that a majority of beekeepers buy bees at some point. You introduce the said bees to your backyard, or whatever, and then try to improve the environment for them by introducing more plants/trees that are beneficial for the bees (and many times, other wildlife). This is about as basic as is gets.
    You say "leave it alone". I'm curious... do you believe that you left your environment alone when you started beekeeping (you didn't)?
    Judging from your 5,000+ posts, I'm guessing that you have something invested in beekeeping. Most likely you find some satisfaction from it, as I do. Try to be helpful. GIVE REASONS for why it should be left alone. I have given reasons for why it should be diversified. Try to help this person out... he is looking for advice - SOUND, reasonable advice. There seems to be only growing evidence that suggests plant/crop monocultures are not healthy for bees. Diversity of plant selection in key for bee health and if the plants/trees planted have different bloom times, it will also contribute to a more balanced honey production.
    "Life will find a way - it always finds a way." -Jurassic Park (MOVIE/BOOK)
    USDA Zone 5a

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Osborne View Post
    There seems to be only growing evidence that suggests plant/crop monocultures are not healthy for bees.
    I am in full agreement with this. I feel if you leave it alone a balance of vegetation will grow that is beneficial to the bees. It will become a variety all on it's own. I can't see how you can plant what the bees needs at the right time better than nature can.
    I got into bees to benefit my gardens. I didn't plant my gardens to benefit my bees but that doesn't hurt them because it is such a small representation of what they require.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  19. #19
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    Newark, Ohio
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    It is just my opinion but I think the bees would prefer humans didn't screw up their habitat. In other words leave it alone.
    I have a wildlife degree. In college, they told us that if there was no man intervention, the majority of the forests in the Eastern half of the country (eastern decedious forest) would be beech/maple forests. We are in the era of habitat management. Manage your land for what you want and bees do prefere what gives them more just as deer and turkeys do better on oak hickory forests just like beaver do better on willow and poplar lined muddy streams. Manage away it if your intention is to help a specific species go for it! Its awesome!

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