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View Diary: What is Sustainable Landscaping? (127 comments)

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  •  Our red maple and river birches (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, kkbDIA

    are quite weedy at this point. But the thing is- we haven't begun to fill those layers with desired species. So they are taking advantage of the lack of structure (open niche). While they grow, they are feeding the soil organisms and helping build biomass in our degraded soil. We we letting them grow, then cutting them down at the base. Their roots will be broken down and help the soil structure. The young trunks and leaves will become additional mulch.

    Personally, I would have liked to remove the red maple (it is situated poorly) and begin coppicing our river biches, but they are providing valuable ecosystem services while our soil is built.

    Where in NC are you?

    •  Maple's Better Than Gum Trees In Understory (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, kkbDIA, FinchJ

      And they make good firewood.

      You can also fill in the understory with holly and prune them to a tree shape.  They won't bolt up or get spindly, but they'll become good trees when you cut back the canopy.  

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:36:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm in Durham. Our red maple saplings were (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, FinchJ

      coming in underneath established canopy.  They were cut back, leaving the roots to decompose in place.  Come spring, we'll add in some more desirable saplings in places where new canopy trees will be needed someday, along with native understory shrubs.

      It sounds like you are doing great things with your space.  I look forward to pictures someday showing how it develops over time!   I really like the puzzle-solving aspect of this type of ecosystem-focused landscaping - what is best for this particular space, both now and decades from now?

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