Best trees for fence-line?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by BethW, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. BethW

    BethW My kids have hooves Supporter

    Messages:
    2,227
    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Reading the subdivision thread got me thinking. Many (most?) of us are or will be facing development pressures. Our property here in VA is nearly all open land, and Dh has been planting trees as fast as the budget will allow, lining the fenceline to thicken the existing treeline.

    What are your favorite trees/plants for privacy/field lines? Sturdy but relatively fast growing? Trees that don't scream "subdivision" like leyland cypress?
     
  2. RoseGarden

    RoseGarden Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,492
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Location:
    Southeast
    That's easy. For sturdy, well-adapted trees, plant trees that are native to your area. Often your state forestry service will have tree seedlings available for sale to the public in the late winter or very early spring. I've bought many this way. They are often sold in bundles of 10, 25, 50, etc., and are often just 1 year old seedlings, bare root, so they aren't going to be nursery sized specimens. But for sheer volume of seedlings, it is a good value. Or better yet, this fall search out the native oaks, wild plums, persimmons, wild cherry, crab apple, nut trees, etc. that are growing in your area and start your own seedlings. It's quite easy to start most oaks, native persimmon is easy after refrigerating for 3 months, and any other seeds can be googled. That way you get tree seedlings for free except for some potting soil and some containers, and your time.

    Also, do you know anyone who might let you dig and transplant some of the smaller, understory trees like dogwood seedlings?

    Native trees vary from place to place, so what I grow here may not do well where you are, so it's best to consult with your state forestry service or local ag extension agent, or just do a field study of what trees are already growing in your area, and try to find those.

    ETA that the native trees and shrubs that also bear fruit are an added bonus for the wildlife. All those generic subdivision trees don't usually offer much for wildlife, but some that I mentioned, the wild cherries, crab apples, persimmons, and the oaks, walnuts, and other nut/mast bearing trees are good for deer and other wildlife too. Shrubby ones are like choke cherry, pin cherry...the list can be endless.

    ETA Again...cone bearing trees like pines, firs, spruces, etc. are good for squirrles and chipmunks, and would provide good winter cover for wildlife, too.
     

  3. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

    Messages:
    47,698
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    I'd plant Red Cedars. They grow fast and thick, and are evergreens
     
  4. FourDeuce

    FourDeuce Five of Seven Supporter

    Messages:
    3,295
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Location:
    Arkansas Ozarks
    I like bamboo for a privacy screen. You can get various sizes, and they block the whole line from the ground up.
     
  5. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,284
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Location:
    Delaware
    Something with thorns may discourage trespassers.
     
  6. iwannabeafarmer

    iwannabeafarmer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Location:
    TN
    the arbor day foundation would also be a place to look. the most expensive seedling is going to be around $10 if your a member and membership comes with 10 free trees. i think membership is $10 and they have you put in your zip code to find your zone and only sell you trees from that zone.

    http://www.arborday.org/
     
  7. Thoughthound

    Thoughthound Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    Red Cedars are nice. Keep in mind they will cause rusting for some fruit trees, primarily apple.

    Willows grow fast, but will look for your septic and drain tile lines.

    I guess I'd also be looking at whether or not the trees drop limbs on the fence too. I wouldn't want to create extra labor.
     
  8. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

    Messages:
    7,380
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Location:
    east ont canada
    i'm with blufford, some thing with thorns! we have a fair number of honey locust growing on our outer boundries, hard to get through and grow fast!! then an ever green on the inside, we use spruce.
     
  9. futurehermit

    futurehermit Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Location:
    upstate NY
    Simply don't mow the area for awhile. Grass will grow to weeds to burdocks to volunteer trees like Russian Olive and eventually a forest. We used this method because it is (1) free, and (2) within a few years a decent thicket can appear.
     
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,825
    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    We have a motley assortment of trees along our creek line but the ones we plant are cedars.
     
  11. stranger

    stranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,627
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    barberry bushes on both sides of alberta spruces
     
  12. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,787
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Location:
    IL, right smack dab in the middle
    Hedge,Also know as Osage Orange, The wood is nearly as hard as iron , wont rot in our lifetimes and its easy to grow in a thorny thick mass that reputed to stop a hog!
    You gather the hedge apples put them in a container(plastic 55 gallon drums) to rot over the winter then you plow a furrow or dig a trench along the fenceline and pour a thin line of the hedge apple stew in , recover it and in a few years its supposed to be hog tight.
     
  13. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    i like the look of canadian hemlock hedges.

    my brother made a fenceline of weeping and black willows that grows fast and looks good. he put the blacks in the rear as they grow a bit taller and the weeping willows in the front.
     
  14. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,323
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Carthage, Texas
    Collect a couple gallons of red cedar seeds and sow them up and down the fenceline... then after they sprout, and grow a year or so, plant some of the 'climbing' roses... the combination will make an impenetrable screen...
     
  15. ninny

    ninny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,341
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    I'd look at some kind of hedge row if I were you. I think they'll grow faster than a tree and they can be almost impenetrable. In WWII, U.S. tanks had to be fitted with dozer blades on the front to plow thru the hedgerows in Europe.

    .
     
  16. EDDIE BUCK

    EDDIE BUCK Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,840
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern N.C.
  17. Use Less

    Use Less Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,867
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    western New York State
    Many farm lines hereabouts are black walnut. Not sure why the old-timers planted so much of that. They are messy after a while, and grow quite tall. And since they have a natural toxin, many things won't grow under them and fill the space up to the first branches. :( // We put a mix of spruces along the road and planted them in a three rows offset (middle row trees between first and third rows planted parallel.) That is nice and thick now, and looks pretty. I would stay away from anything that sets branches high, or where lower branches die off earlier. Depending, something that gets height soon could be good, too. Sue
     
  18. Sara in IN

    Sara in IN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    252
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Make your hedgerow/treeline a wildlife refuge. Underplant wild blackberries - they'll keep cattle out after a couple years and provide an excellent food source for wildlife. Native hawthorns are also a good understory tree and the fruits make it a good tree for wildlife. A sour orange that will grow in Zone 6 is poncirus trifolatia. It has evil thorns and will self seed. It's also known as "Texas barbwire tree", an excellent hedging shrub.

    There are a lot of good sources of food for wildlife that also offer good protection for wild life that happen to have vicious thorns that make good hedges to keep livestock penned in or out of fields. Practice conservation in action.
     
  19. krondor2

    krondor2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Location:
    nc
    if they are good size worth a lot of money for veneer and lumber, depending on quality of the logs.