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Re: Need More Shrubs in listings!!

In a message dated 11/20/96 9:28:20 PM, askpv@ozemail.com.au (April
Sampson-Kelly) wrote:

<<The great English plant listing known as PLANTS
FOR A FUTURE has Mulberry as a shrub - and here it is 
over 6 metres tall!>>

In a message dated 11/20/96 9:28:20 PM, April wrote:

<<The great English plant listing known as PLANTS
FOR A FUTURE has Mulberry as a shrub - and here it is 
over 6 metres tall!>>

Depends on the shrub.  Some even grow like vines with long lianas instead of
stiff branches.

For other shrubs, check the ECHO web site.  I'm not crazy about the web, but
this is an exception.  ECHO has a number of shrubs growing in their
demonstration at N. Ft. Myeres, Florida, USA.  Before I break off to look up
the ECHO web address from our database, TRIP (The Resources of International
Permaculture. 2073 addresses as of this morning--plug, plug), let me also
mention that we have published a great resource in this regard, PLANTS FOR
USE IN PERMACULTURE IN THE TROPICS, by Frank Martin.  We also publish his
addition, we have a large selection of related materials on tropical
permaculture listed in our Special Order Catalog.  

Here it is, less than a minute including the time needed to open the program
and database:  http://www.xc.org/echo .

Do contact me privately if you may want to acquire the resources we publish
on tropical and subtropical permaculture.

I didn't see cassava, an obvious choice depending on your climate. A major
crop here in the Florida subtropics is blueberries.  There are several plums
that form shrubby thickets growing wild and a native species of Asimina that
barely makes it to shrub category.  Amelanchier and misc. hawthorns,
including mayhaws, may grow to shrub or small tree dimensions.  I like to cut
Amelanchier back once to force it to "shrub out" which makes it easier to
reach the fruit.  

We are doing a design here, also, because we are about to acquire property.
 The last word on the legalities was that we would "close" tommorow.  (In the
US, maybe elsewhere I don't know, "close" means to assume the legal fiction
of ownership in exchange for a large pile of money.  I'd rather have use of
the land.)
Our first run-through on our species list, with our files in storage, came up
with about 110 species.  We aren't being as complext with our understory
because our major protein will be the pecan tree and with a complex
understory one would never find the nuts before the wild-life gets them.  In
other parts of the design, we get more complex, but in successional patterns
not final design.  We expect to get blight-resistant chestnuts to come up
through a fruit understory but we'll have to clean out the understory
whensignificant bearing begins for the same reasons as above.  I don't mind
at all eating the suirrels, racoons and deer that will pop up to browse on
our mast, but I'd really like some chestnuts and pecans too.  We will be
using short-lived crops like peaches, which, with a single stem, will not
impeed too much strategies for getting the nuts.  You can get bush peaches,
of course, or make them by cutting back the stem of a genetic dwarf.  Of
course they are shade intollerant.  Dogwoods are good shade understory and
our native species, Cornus florida, produces a fruit popular with birds but
not much for people.  Of course dogwoods serve useful purposes other than
human food, including nutrient cycling and very useful wood.  It is optional
whether  you class them as shrubs or small trees--some distinctions aren't
worth making. I glanced through what I could without my library, and it does
not seem that the two notable dogwoods for human food, C. mas and C kousa,
will produce in limited chill situations.  Most of the shrubs with which I am
familiar, e.g. blueberry, the mayhaws, feijoa, camelia, certain citrus, etc.,
really don't produce much if anything in shade, however. They tend to be edge
bearers or, like the blueberry, tolerant of conditions other woody plants
can't stand so that they stand alone in the open.  There are some shrubby
oaks in this category and some species of oaks will grow only as a shrub if
the soil is very poor and dry but as a tree as succession, including their
ancestors contributions, improves soil.  In the understory, woods for certain
purposes, nutrient cyclers or fixers such as some species of alder, etc. may
be more reasonable.  Our own shrub strategy is to use very wide edge and
shelterbelt plantings and mix the shrubs along the edge.  We'll use
blueberries for their matted roots to hold the sides of our chinampas and
even with a light overhead shade we'll expect ample light due to reflection
from the water. You didn't mention brambles, which I don't regard as shrubs
but which don't seem to fit any other category.  Again, most varieties need
fullsun, but R occidentalis does very well with part shade, particularly at
the drip line of trees. They perform and induce important nutrient cycling
for the associate trees.  The blackberries I'm familiar with tolerate only
light shade before they break off bearing, but they are an excellent cover to
hold burnt over areas and get a yield and are about the best edge planting
for an outwardly moving forest succeeding into grass.  These bramble
associations organize themselves spontaneously if all elements are present
and can be observed.  

Well, this seems like an endless excercise.  Maybe one would be better put to
define needs and wants and then finger the species to fill them.  This would
involve the most benefit for the least change.  Hmmmmm.  Seems I've heard
that somewhere before.

For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now permaculture
training in an email classroom. Copyright, 1996, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway.
YankeePerm@aol.com  P.O. 2025, Ocala FL 3447-2025 USA.

We don't have time to rush.