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Thread: Planting trees

  1. #1
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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
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    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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    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.

  5. #5
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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.

  6. #6
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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

  7. #7
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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 09:58 PM.
    www.autonomyacres.com Discussions on Urban Homesteading

  8. #8
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    Jul 2012
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    Jackson, MO
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    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.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2003
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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.

  10. #10
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    YANCEY CO., NC
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Folks here in Western North Carolina Locust comes in around the third week of April.Poplar the last week of April Sourwood the first week of July.I have around twenty mature Sourwood trees here on the farm.And got to thinking would rather have trees I like on the farm rather then White Pine and Oaks.I've seen a websight that has all these trees for sale right now and got a son and two unemployed nephews who I'll get to plant them.I'll check into the Linden trees there's a few around but I only know one man who makes any honey off of them.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Quote Originally Posted by kenr View Post
    ....I'll check into the Linden trees there's a few around but I only know one man who makes any honey off of them.
    Linden tree is very beneficial to ecology - it has ability to neutralize contamination fof the air (smog etc) AND honey is considered to be the best in medicinal use (sore throat, cold symptoms etc). In Russia, they plant these trees next to heavy traffic to eliminate the smog. I do believe, it is heavy honey producer.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  12. #12
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    Kaysville, Utah, USA
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    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.
    When my linden blooms it attracts swarms of bees and literally hums. I'm probably going to plant another, now that I have a hive that can benefit from it.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2011
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    Clackamas Oregon
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Coming from the nursery capital of the world I guess I am spoiled. I would go directly to the grower for the quantities you want. I was looking for a bunch of seedlings of Oregon grape and the Landscaper at work turned me on to this site:
    http://nurseryguide.com/index.html
    I ran a search for some nyssa (tupelo and gums) as well as Linden and Oxydendrum arboreum (Sourwood), there was multiple growers with over 10 K in the field. As it has been said the smaller and less work that they have into the stock the less it will cost.
    Woodburn auctions last year was clearing grafted fruit trees for $3 each in lots of 100.
    Oregon is going to cut 6.5 Million Christmas trees and most of them are coming out of the valley here.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  14. #14
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    Apr 2010
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    Lexington, VA, USA
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Ken, On my place I have about 12 acres of woods mostly poplar, maple, locust and oak. The bees really love the tulip poplar and the flow around here is pretty reliable-not so much with the locust. The 8 acres of pasture that we have we are just letting nature take its course with a little judicious assistance to rid us of the despicable tree of heaven. We were rewarded this year with a very good flow from the tulip poplar and wing stem which grew everywhere. The bees loved it. I wouldn't go overboard on one tree or shrub for the reasons cited by others on diversity and the fact that with the transfer and proliferation of pests and disease worldwide you never know when your entire planting of sourwood might be completely wiped out. For example the locust blight is hitting our area pretty hard and making that tree very unreliable as a honey tree-great for firewood though. I am sure you know of examples in your area. I am planting to help nature along but mostly shrubs such as button bush and bicolor lespedeza. I also throw down various clovers whenever I find an opening. Good luck with your project it is a lot of work but also very rewarding not only in honey but in creating a beautiful multi-culture of plants.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Planting trees

    Talk to your county extension agent about a plan, not a tree. Example, you plant grafted walnut trees and filberts and berries. The overall plan is reached in 12 years (filberts) but you are into production within a year on your annuals, 3 years on your berries, 5 on your fruit and grafted. I know you are not going full agricultural but you can do the same with your specific goals. Most expect some income before a full sized tree. You can also ask about livestock. Sheep will not eat the woody plants so after the trees are a certain height they will keep it mowed and not eat the bark off the trees (they use that here for the grapes). They will keep the grass from getting 3’ tall and killing off all your small tress (which you plant with guards). Pick a nursery that has all that you need, the shipping on a 1000 plants (200 each variety) may be as much as the plants.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  16. #16
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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

  17. #17
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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

  18. #18
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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

  19. #19
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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

  20. #20
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    Sep 2005
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    YANCEY CO., NC
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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?

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