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TREE GUILDS and PERMACULTURE: what are they?

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Topic by MsDebbieP posted 01-29-2010 10:10 PM 8856 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

01-29-2010 10:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: guild trees fruit permaculture gardens gateway organic

Jan 29/10

Thanks to Robin’s review of the book on permaculture, I’ve become fascinated with the concept of tree guilds.

What is a Tree Guild?
According to this website, it is based on the following: “In Nature plants are grouped in small, reoccurring but loosely defined communities that are often referred to as guilds. A full guild can be said to have seven layers-each specifically designed to use one aspect of both the sun and root strata.”

Guild gardening is about copying Mother Nature, who is able to create a prolific array of plants and produce in basically any environment. She is also able to do this without a lot of physical labour – the plants themselves do most of the work, along with the healthy soil that is naturally created and the creatures who come to visit or live there.
(I recommend the above link and the book reviewed by Robin as good sources of information on a guild).

Here, at GT, we have a good discussion about a walnut guild, working with the toxic juglone issue. I plan to set up a walnut guild this spring, or start to anyway. I also want to look into creating guilds around the rest of my fruit trees.

Related GT ‘Guild” Discussions

Related GT ‘Permaculture” Discussions

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)



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sharad

1639 posts in 1875 days
hardiness zone 11

01-30-2010 07:52 AM

Debbie you have opened a very important topic. We neglect mother nature to a great extent and pay the cost for it. This applies to human health also. Our body is programmed to do lot of work for us if we follow certain simple rules. By taking medicines even for minor illnesses like head ache or common cold etc we confuse or immune system in doing its work. In addition the medicines have their own side effects which further aggravates the confusion. Let us see how the plants do most of the work. I will go through the discussion of Walnut guild and also wait for your set up coming spring.
Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

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MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

01-30-2010 11:58 AM

I totally agree. Re: health, I have be suffering pretty badly before I resort to medicines.

But.. we are learning! We are learning to love and respect Mother Nature again and how to take care of our health without man-made medicines etc. We’re getting there.

I can’t wait to get started on the walnut tree guild .. as well as the rest of my fruit trees. It’s going to be an exciting year!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Catspaw

244 posts in 2455 days

01-31-2010 05:51 PM

Another reason for no-till. Mother Nature seems to have it down pat. Disturbing the earth disturbs the earthy community. Better to help what’s there, than destroy it and build what you think is best.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist......Zone out....(USA 5)

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MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

01-31-2010 11:31 PM

makes sense, doesn’t it!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

02-05-2010 04:59 PM

I found THIS SITE for gardening in Canada—links to various sites that have information related to our climate etc

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

02-07-2010 08:30 PM

an interesting quote from this website re: guilds & the crabapple tree

Plant two staggered rings of mixed beneficial bulbs around the crabapple tree, one a few feet away from the trunk and the second at the drip line (the ground under the outer edge of the mature tree’s branches). Although commercial orchard growers resort to grass to suppress weeds and prevent soil erosion, in reality grass is a poor companion for fruit trees. Instead, choose flowering bulbs that suppress weeds without robbing crabapples of nutrients. Cheerful daffodils also deter deer and gophers. Members of the onion family (garlic, garlic chives, Egyptian walking onion and ramps) repel insects and provide produce. Daylilies and camas add beauty and contribute more edible food. Steam or boil daylily buds as you would green beans, toss fresh daylily petals into salads, and slow-cook camas bulbs, long an important root crop for Native Americans, in a fire pits or crock pots.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Greenthumb

2287 posts in 2478 days

02-08-2010 03:08 AM

Guilds are groups of people (i suppose they could be groups of plants) that have similar interests and goals.

I have made two attempts to join/qualify to become a member of the British Master Craftsman Guild…....to no avail but perhaps now, ten years since the last attempt…....they might accept me.

If there was a gardeners guild around me…........I think I would join

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

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MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

03-22-2011 03:07 PM

This is the list I have so far re: fruit tree guilds
  • Comfrey (fertilizer when composting)
  • Black Cumin
  • Dead Nettle (I think it keeps bad bugs away)
  • Eggplant
  • False Indigo (nitrogen)
  • Fennel (brings the good insects in for pollinating and eating the bad bugs ??)
  • Horseradish
  • Nasturtiums
  • Oregano
  • Ribgrass Plantain (host for butterflies)
  • Sneezewort Yarrow

(sorry I didn’t write down what each contributes to the guild)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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sharad

1639 posts in 1875 days
hardiness zone 11

03-22-2011 06:32 PM

Debbie it will be good if you write in brief the contribution of each plant, to keep our knowledge up to date. We can then add to the list.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

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MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

03-22-2011 08:46 PM

I should have written it down – I tend to think “if I need to know the information, I’ll look it up” and the left the technical stuff drift away.
As I read information now, though, I’m recording it. A slow process.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

03-25-2011 04:04 PM

This is interesting/informative:
  • With fruit trees we always plant nitrogen-fixing groundcovers and/or “mother” plant to shade and nurture young seedlings (such as Siberian peashrub, or False Indigo Bush). Then come the bulbs (iris, edible daylily, alliums), which absorb excess nitrogen in the springtime (when it is detrimental to fruit trees). Various sages (clary sage, culinary sage, salvias) are there to draw pollinators and beneficial insects. Beeforage plants, like bergamot, spirea, beeplant are there for the obvious reason. Perennial greens, such as garden sorrell and salad burnett are planted where the water is sufficient to warrant their survival. Mineral mining plants (comfrey, nettles) are combined with medicinal herbs which Arina uses for making herbal teas and concoctions.
    http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/Permaculture-Food-Forest/

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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