Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Clearing grass around young woodland.  (Read 5212 times)

Hubie Orff-Myland

  • Joined Oct 2012
Clearing grass around young woodland.
« on: April 27, 2013, 04:24:49 pm »
Hello there!
This is my first posting and I should introduce myself. I dont as yet have my rural idyll (got to get rid of the teenagers first - though a move to the sticks might sort that out...) I do however have my eye on a property, and my question is this ... is there a beast(s) that will happily eat the grass growing around newly planted (10 yr. old) woodland, without eating the bark/leaves of the trees? In an ideal world the by then plump organically fed beastie would then be ready for the pot!

Any thoughts would be most welcome.

spandit

  • Moderator
  • Joined Mar 2013
  • East Sussex
    • Sussex Forest Garden
Re: Clearing grass around young woodland.
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2013, 07:10:56 pm »
Welcome! What trees are they? What about geese or ducks?
sussexforestgarden.blogspot.co.uk

Hubie Orff-Myland

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: Clearing grass around young woodland.
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2013, 10:15:04 pm »
It is mostly deciduous native trees - just short of 10 acres. I am completely new to all this, and initially thought a couple of sheep might have been the answer, but the more I read about them the more it seems they have an inbuilt tendency to self destruct...

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Clearing grass around young woodland.
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2013, 10:30:23 pm »
Geese would be a good bet although they too will probably have a nibble at low lying leaves and occasionally the trunks. Do they have any tree guards on them? At ten years, I guess most the leaves are out of a goose's reach so you should be OK. Having said that, they'll keep the grass down but they won't clear it completely so if you're wanting the tree to be kept clear of grass altogether, you might need a different type of beast.

H

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Clearing grass around young woodland.
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 05:22:09 pm »
would like an answer to your original question too  .... but moving does solve the teen problem.... my boys suddenly got motivated to get proper jobs/careers when faced with that or a move to rural Wales!!
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

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Orinoco

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Clearing grass around young woodland.
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2013, 09:38:26 pm »
Hi

How about Ouessant sheep, smaller (can't reach up far, not sure about their liking for bark as not got them yet, hopefully next week) without the inbuild self destruct urge, also very friendly, not cheap though.

K

MAK

  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: Clearing grass around young woodland.
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 09:03:41 am »
Young woodland is new to me- no grass in our established woods of course. Why do you have to keep grass down around 10 year old trees - is it a problem? Won't the shade they produce do that for you once the trees come into full leaf?
Do you have a fence around the 10 acres to keep animals in?

www.cadeauxdelaforge.fr
Gifts and crafts made by us.

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Clearing grass around young woodland.
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 11:44:51 am »
Young woodland is new to me- no grass in our established woods of course. Why do you have to keep grass down around 10 year old trees - is it a problem? Won't the shade they produce do that for you once the trees come into full leaf?
Do you have a fence around the 10 acres to keep animals in?

I agree - 10 yrs is past the problems that you can have with competition - but there is also the dimension that it might seem like a waste of grass not to get something eating it!  There used to be a lot more woodland that was sparser and grazed understory -I think Id borrow some small sheep if poss and observe to see whether 10 yr old bark is appealing or not.  Geese sound promising - I have lots of very young trees planted last year and another few acres to go in next winter)so may have a go with geese this year (have I missed the slot for 'michaelmas' geese?)

MAK

  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: Clearing grass around young woodland.
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2013, 12:56:49 pm »
Another suggestion -and not exactly TAS territory - Paintball!
I am thinking of setting this up in the wood across the lane - I have a spare barn for kit,changing and a cup of tea. If you could get paintballs with a weed supressant then you could earn a bit too for little work.
www.cadeauxdelaforge.fr
Gifts and crafts made by us.

Nortonhillbilly

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Wotton Under Edge, Gloucestershire
  • Nothing runs like a Deere
    • Our Small Farm
Re: Clearing grass around young woodland.
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2013, 03:46:19 pm »
If you really want something to eat the grass, but not the trees and then eat the beastie subsequently, I am told Shropshire sheep are reknowned for leaving trees alone. I was told this by the lady on the Shropshire Sheep Stand at Sheep 2012 at malvern. Apparantly there are a lot of Shropshire flocks in France which are used for exactly this purpose. They are a nice breed too, from what i have seen. Might be worth googling their website

Hubie Orff-Myland

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: Clearing grass around young woodland.
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2013, 06:41:30 pm »
Hello again, and thanks for all the views/advice! My idea is similar to fib's - a two or three pronged approach to the problem - keep grass low, feed beastie, eat beastie. I like the Permaculture way of doing things if possible (though their idea's don't always work quite so well) so will make a note of miniature non self -destructive sheep. Cheers!

Bodger

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Clearing grass around young woodland.
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2013, 07:10:10 pm »
It depends on the girth of the trees. If the geese can get their beaks around the trunks, then they'll wreck them, if they can't then you're in the clear. Ducks don't really eat grass.

 

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