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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

From Forest to Seabuckthorn Orchard in Seboeis Maine

Clearing the land for a larger scale Seabuckthorn Orchard 

There are short term goals, medium, and long term ones too.  This is in medium catagory.  Why? Its a big job and will take a few years to prepare the soil.  Land an soil preparation is important because the Sea Buckthorn orchard, once planted, should last 10-15 years.  Soil drainage should not be a problem with this site as it is located on a ridge with moderate to steep slopes down to a river.  The acreage has been cut and the root and brush removal was to begin today but the machine operator had some difficulties and will not begin until tomorrow morning. 
This is a photo of part of the opened up area before and after.

The machine that did the work

After the chipper was done.  Total cleared @ 5 acres. (@2 hectres)
 The field is beyond and down sloped from the truck.  The view is now greatly improved.

I am planning on planting a green crop on the stumped and brushed cleared land.  I have chosen a pasture mix for the benefit of the animals in the area and the fact that the orchard will be planted in stages.  One unknown is the attractiveness of Sea Buckthorn to the largest foraging animal in the area, the moose.
taken November last year

My funds are limited though and I expect the total clearing will have to wait for a while.  I do expect to have a moderate amount of workable land to begin.  The brush will be burned when possible and the stumps will stay in piles for a period of time to allow for the soil to wash off. Burning will assist in sweetening the soil.  Sea Buckthorn lives in symbiosis with actinomycetes and this organisim has a low tolerance for acid soils.  Research in this area is mixed.  Not a surprise if you have been following my experiment all along.  Sea Buckthorn currently grows in areas of the world with pH 5.5-8.3.  A wide range.  It is reported the best pH would be between pH 6-7.  The acinomycetes likes this range as well.

Update from Direct Seeded Sea Buckthorn in Maine

The growth and health of these seedlings is very good after a month in the "wild".  The weather during my absence has been favorable with periodic rain and cool temperatures.

1 comment:

  1. This is so neat. Your orchard is coming along nicely. Great job!

    I was at an orchard in San Jose, CA and found their bush with berries. It was so exciting as I finally got to taste the berries. I does pack a sour punch!