other agroforest plantings

J. Fiske jfiske at lightlink.com
Wed Dec 10 08:29:08 EST 1997

"Mast is important for a lot of reasons ... not the least of which is a
primary source of food for wildlife. In my part of the world there are a
lot of folks who want to grow oaks for acorn production ... to increase
squirrel and white tail deer populations. Try to think in more than one

Incidently, acorns can be made much more palatible to humans by leaching
out the tannins, either with hot water or cold water soak. The "meats" are
then dried and powdered for use as flour. Lots of work, but it can be done!

dwheeler at teleport.com wrote in article <881689664.27499 at dejanews.com>...
> In article <348AC160.24FC3E1A at lebmofo.com>,
>   Ron Wenrich <woodtick at lebmofo.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> > dwheeler at teleport.com wrote:
> >
> > > In article <3489202D.7EF7 at forestmeister.com>,
> > >   Joseph Zorzin <redoak at forestmeister.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > My concern about planting crops of any kind around trees is damage
> > > > the roots of the trees.
> > > >
> > > > How do agroforestmeisters deal with this problem?
> > >
> > > I don't think I qualify as a +agroforestmeister+, but in Smith's Tree
> > > Crops, it is suggested that plants such as blueberry, herbs,
> > > strawberries, truffles, rhododendrons, herbaceous foliage plants such
> > > salal and evergreen huckleberry, various ferns, and fungi be
> > > co-cultivated between rows of trees which are spaced slightly further
> > > apart than normal.
> >
> > Eastern hardwoods are not grown in rows.  Spatial alignment is gained
> > periodic thinnings, and is random in nature.  Blueberry grows on very
> > sites, which is not a great place to grow hardwoods.  Truffle knowledge
> > the east is practically unknown by foresters or landowners.  Gingseng
> > other botanicals are starting to attract some interest.  Stawberries
> > more light than can be found in forested situations.  I've never seen
> > strawberries in the woods.  Ferns effect seed germination and seedling
> > development, and bracken fern will kill anything that tries to invade
> > territory.  Morels and other fungi offer some interesting
> > however, there seems to be little information on propagation, or where
to get
> > inoculant.
> >
> J. Russel Smith suggests planting trees in rows quite distant from each
> other: 20-30 feet apart. In the east this could be accomplished by
> growing saprophytic fungi on at least some of the wood cut in
> thinning/spacing. I would look into shiitake, maitake (Grifola frondosus,
> also called Hen of the Woods), Pleurotus ostreatus, Pleurotus sagu-cajor,
> Pleurotus ulmanarius, Laetiporus sulphureus, Hericium erinaceus, Hericium
> abietis, Hericium corraloides, Lepista nuda, Morchella sps, and any other
> fungi which appears to grow well locally on the woods you will be
> cutting. There should be a plethora of them.
> Since most of the fungi have barely been grown, it will require in-depth
> research to figure out whether this is economic for you. A hint: if you
> cannot find markets for the product, don't try it.
> > >
> > >
> > > This is doubly interesting, because Smith was an economist, not a
> > > manager or orchardist. He did, however, suggest in the 1930's that it
> > > made more economic sense to plant oak and chestnut for long-term
> > > production of acorns and nuts as mast, than a similar acreage of
> > > The advantage of tree crops was obvious: one planting every 300 years
> > > planting every year. Chestnut harvest now is still possible provided
> > > the site is on rather steep slopes, otherwise chestnut blight tends
> > > affect the tree quickly, usually resulting in stunted growth or
> >
> > I don't know of any market for acorns.  I've tried some, and they
> > very tasty, even roasted.  Nut crops are hard, since you have to beat
> > squirrels to the harvest.  Chestnut blight has taken care of native
> > harvests, steep slopes or not.  Although there are some nut bearing
> > the harvest is too scant and too spread out to make it economical.
> >
> According to Smith, it was bagged and used as mast (fodder for fattening
> animals). The food value was equivalent or exceeded a similar acreage
> planted to corn, but required no fertilizer or planting. There should
> still be some value, provided there was sufficient production. As I
> recall, people used to harvest acorns in the East as a gleaning
> operation, or simply run animals (pigs, sheep, horses, cattle) on the
> land, and allow them to harvest the fallen acorns.
> > >
> > >
> > > It is interesting to note that several species of truffle are also
> > > associated with oak and chestnut.
> >
> > What types?  This is the type of information that foresters are
starving for.
> >
> In France and Japan, chestnut is considered an oak. French Black truffles
> (Tuber melanosporum) is associated with chestnuts in France. Shiitake is
> grown off the Shiia tree (a chestnut) in Japan. Shiitake is not
> effectively grown on pin oak or black oaks in the United States to my
> knowledge. However, white oak species (those with rounded or lobed
> leaves) are preferred shiitak bed logs. Sweet gum, alder, chestnut, and
> some maple species.
> Locally, older timber-type Oregon White oak makes dandy shiitake fodder,
> and is gaining in value for use in the barrel-stave industry for aging
> wine.
> Daniel B. Wheeler
> http://www.oregonwhitetruffles.com
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