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Planting trees to dry out ground

 
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Posts: 14615
Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:35 pm    Post subject: Planting trees to dry out ground Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Time to start buying a store of food in as the grain crop this summer will be very small in the UK. Last autumn was very wet and not much winter wheat was planted and this spring looks like farmers won't be able to get on the land either because of the incessant rain. Even if they can get on the land there might not be enough spring seed to sow. Things like field beans might be cheap for us punters to buy though and they will add to fertility for next year.


Trees! A few alders transformed a small patch of our acre from boggy, soggy annoyance to usability.

Perhaps crop farmers should be thinking about trying to produce some (obviously less than they'd like) food by letting trees deal with wet ground - rather than produce little or nothing at all?
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kenneal - lagger
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 12264
Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
.........
Trees! A few alders transformed a small patch of our acre from boggy, soggy annoyance to usability.

Perhaps crop farmers should be thinking about trying to produce some (obviously less than they'd like) food by letting trees deal with wet ground - rather than produce little or nothing at all?


The Elm Farm Research Institute have been trialling intercropping with trees very successfully although not, as far as I'm aware, for specifically drying the land. There would be a problem with planting trees into ground that was only occasionally waterlogged in drier spells when the trees might dry the ground too much for the crops to grow.

The problem at the moment is just the amount of rain that is falling and the duration. Alders to dry land for a normal year wouldn't cope with this year. Alders do however fix nitrogen so would be good for adjacent crops.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Posts: 14615
Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm clearing another patch where most of the run-off from the house ends up, that which doesn't end up in barrels.

Currently this run-off mostly runs to a small stream but if I plant a few alders there in the patch, I should be helping - albeit in a miniscule way - to mitigate flood further downstream.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wouldn't willows take up more water, Em.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Posts: 14615
Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Wouldn't willows take up more water, Em.


It's a 50/50 decision. Embarassed
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eatyourveg



Joined: 15 Jul 2007
Posts: 1285
Location: uk

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a thing called goat willow here. Extremely fast growth, takes up much much water, the wetter it is the more it likes it. Have alder too, but it can't match the goat willow for water take up. The willow is unkillable, cut it down and it's back in no time, brilliant for coppicing. Ok as firewood, if split normal drying time, if not split needs 2 years.
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