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BogMan
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Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:09 pm
Location: zone 1ish

cold climate hedge

hey all,

Last summer I started what I hope will grow into a willow fence. My first round of 80 or so were harvested and planted in the spring - not something I will do again.

Most sites will tell you to replant spring or fall but anyone looking to start a willow fence in cold(cold) climates is best served planting very late in the fall. I got lucky with the last round of 80 or so and held off till a few good freezing nights and a day before the fist real good snow. This way the sap is not moving, the leaves are off and the ground is still soft.The spring was too much work in frozen ground for shallow holes to plant cuttings already beginning to leaf. Not a big revelation for most and I should have been able to figure it out but I was eager to get something started.

The cuttings were 3/4-1" in diameter and planted every 2 feet or so in two offset rows. I tried to get an equal amount of the spring-red/orange and more grey ones. There are something like 160 different willow varieties up here apparently but these ones seemed to grow in somewhat similiar locations.

The results for the first row, after one summer, looked ~50% die back/off though I'll know better this summer. I'm sure the last 80 will take much better. I was able to bore out a good 18" with an iron bar and filled the hole with generous amounts of worm dirt. Come spring they should get a better start on the season. Hopefully in 3-4 years I will have something to work with.

My next plan is Caraganna Arborescens(Siberian Pea Shrub). I know they will grow relatively quick and have a good chance of surviving 45 below. The birds and bees will love them in the summer and maybe in 5-10 years they might work as a decent privacy hedge. I'm hoping they will tolerate the spring ground water.

anyway that's my plan - subject to change without notice

:)
just a guy trying to reforest a northern yard

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BogMan
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:09 pm
Location: zone 1ish

Re: cold climate hedge

rainbowgardener suggested some cold hardy options that I'd like to add here:

"The western serviceberry is a lovely shrub/ small tree that is rated cold hardy to zone 3. Tons of birds love those berries.

Lonicera caerulea (honeyberry, blue-berried honeysuckle, or sweetberry honeysuckle) is a honeysuckle native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere. It is a deciduous shrub growing to 1.5–2 m tall with edible berries. It is rated hardy to zone 2.

Then as you are aware, there are several varieties of willow native for you (or at least near you).

Silver buffaloberry is a tall, thorny, thicket-forming native shrub. Well adapted to dry, moderately alkaline and saline soils. Tolerates infertile soils, in part because of its ability to fix and assimilate atmospheric nitrogen. Berries used for jellies. Rated hardy to zone 2 and listed as a good windbreak hedge plant.

Here's one list I found of shrubs that are hardy in zone 1:

Betula glandulosa Resin Birch
Betula nana subsp. exilis Dwarf Birch
Empetrum nigrum Crowberry, Black Crowberry, Curlewberry
Potentilla pensylvanica Pennsylvania Cinquefoil, Prairie Cinquefoil
Rhododendron lapponicum Lapland Rosebay, Lapland Rhododendron
Salix arctica Arctic Willow
Salix herbacea Snowbed Willow
Salix reticulata Netleaf Willow, Net-veined Willow


If you can manage it, I really like a mixed border hedge. Different things will be in bloom at different times, provides lots of diversity of habitat for different birds, butterflies, etc. and is good insurance against a disease coming along and wiping out some kind of shrub or just a bad year of weather unsuitable for something. And I think it is very pretty, less boring than a straight row of all one thing."

The silver buffaloberry sounds promising but may not enjoy excessive spring groundwater. I have other spots that need filling in so this one is worth a try.

The sweetberry honeysuckle(haskap) is definitely going somewhere.

Western serviceberry is almost perfect. It may not grow to it's full 12ft. up north but even 8 feet would be nice.

Of course anything I try will take probably 10 years or more to fill in but between a willow fence and mixed caraganna/serviceberry hedge I have a good idea how to start the 'tall' portion.

Of course, as always, plans subject to change without notice.

:)
just a guy trying to reforest a northern yard

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