100 Mile House

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Spore Print, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Spore Print

    Spore Print Member

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    Hi everyone, im new to these forums and am immediately impressed with the vast amount of knowledge which is being shared here.

    Just a couple questions here,

    I am planning a move to 100 Mile house,
    and the land I am hoping to purchase is heavily forested with pine and other local trees.
    My goal is to clear out a very large section so I'll have space for growing crops.

    I have done quite a bit of research, but have yet to find a detailed list of what plant species (fruit and vegetable) are capable of growing in said environment,
    I have heard it is Zone 4, but should be considered as a Zone 2. is this true?

    Im wanting to plant hundreds of fruit trees, and have a large variety of vegetables.

    Also,in regards to the soil that lays under the forested area...
    I'm assuming that it is fairly lush and nutrient rich, but you know what they say about assuming...
    Is there anyone that knows if the ground might be too acidic or not nutritious enough for a selection of veggies and fruit trees?

    please help me :)

    thank you very much,

    -Nick
     
  2. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    I have always understood that soil under forested areas is almost completely sterile.
     
  3. Spore Print

    Spore Print Member

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    what do you mean by that?

    do you mean non-fertile?

    how can that be?
    doesnt all of the decomposation re-nutrient the soil?
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  4. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    You might want to contact the local garden club to learn first hand what types of challenges face gardeners so far north.

    http://www.gardening.100mile.com/

    Sounds like you have already chosen a site, but clearing forested land sounds like a lot of work to me. Any chance of finding property that already has open land for a garden? Either way, it would be a good idea to have the soil tested to find out if it needs amendment to become garden worthy.
     
  5. Spore Print

    Spore Print Member

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    thank you very much!
     
  6. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I'm sure there's good information out there on the topic of re-vegetating previously forested land - not like it hasn't been done before! Guessing from my gardening experience here...

    As far as soil fertility is concerned, I would imagine it varies depending on whether the trees are still standing or not. Under an existing tree, growth of other things is limited by the acidity from the debris, the root competition for moisture and nutrients, and the dryness which may be due to diversion of rainfall by the tree's canopy as well. That probably affects the microbial profile of the soil as well. Once the trees are taken down, I suspect things change, as you are adding the magical ingredient of water to the soil, but also you have decomposing roots to consider.

    We just had a huge conifer taken down in the neighbour's yard. I am now building a garden where the tree previously prohibited me from doing so, and as I dig around I am flat-out amazed at how dry it still was under that tree well into fall, even a very rainy month after it was removed. The soil under the root mat was nearly dust - turning to clay when it gets wet.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Not strictly true in the absolute sense, but it is largely true now - all land that is fertile has long since been cleared for agriculture; where forests are left now, they are left because past attempts at clearance for agriculture have largely failed.

    There's also an ethical pont to consider here: should forest be cleared, in a world that is desperately short on forest, particularly if the land is that little bit more fertile? If you want to grow crops, why not buy land that is already deforested, rather than destroying more forest?
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Varies with each location. You won't be able to judge the soil conditions on a site simply by whether it is forested or not. Many kinds of trees grow better on rich soils in valleys and near lakes and streams than on less fertile soils elsewhere, same as with other types of plants. Some species of trees may be found growing wild almost exclusively in deep, fertile soils.
     
  9. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    "I am planning a move to 100 Mile house,
    and the land I am hoping to purchase is heavily forested with pine and other local trees.
    My goal is to clear out a very large section so I'll have space for growing crops."

    Just curious are you allowed to remove native type vegetation or any trees for that matter with out some sort of permission (government). We would not be allowed to do what you propose. If we buy a forested area normally only the house block is allowed to be cleared and even then certain trees have to be retained.

    Liz
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Depends on which governing body overseas the land and what its requirements are. Here individual municipalities have their own tree retention ordinances.
     
  11. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Of course, Spore Print did not come here asking for an opinion of his plans from an ethical perspective. Nor do we know, if the land in question is for sale on the open market, what plans an alternative buyer might have for the land - maybe to strip mine it for Kitty Litter. In other words, the land's future probably does not lie between cleared and forested - it probably lies with being cleared, and used for some alternative purpose. Fruit trees sound good to me.
     
  12. natureman

    natureman Active Member

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    I understand how great it is to grow more crops/plants, but to have the need to clear a forest area out first..I cringe at the thought of all those trees being gone :(

    Deforestation, whether how small, adds up :/
     
  13. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Has the pine beetle not affected that area, are they already dead ? Here in the Lower Mainland much of previously productive farmland along the Fraser River {south side and Crescent Island it seems } has been bought up by the GVRD for park use. Another thread concerning 100 Mile www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=27054
     
  14. Spore Print

    Spore Print Member

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    The land is not yet infected with pinebeatle but i suspect within two years it will be.

    i wouldnt be clearing hectares... im talknig like 3-7 acres TOPS
    and will be planting SEVERAL fruit trees in their place.
     
  15. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    In regards to your original question:
    Have the soil tested. It seems likely that it will need some adjustment. Maybe the local garden club can help you find a service or products to do that.

    I enquired by email to the local government to see if there were any restrictions on taking down trees and received the response that there are currently no bylaws to deal with tree removal within the municipality.
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Logging disrupts the nutrient cycle already in operation so soils may deteriorate after clearing. Test periodically to have some idea of what your situation is over time.
     
  17. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    When we moved into our house 25 years ago, I cut down an ill-placed tree. The soil under it seemed devoid of nutrients. No insects or worms. Nothing would grow there. After a few years I sent a sample to a testing lab and I will never forget the answer. It began "Your soil is dead dead dead!" In every category of mineral and nutrient the test read "0".

    The surrounding soil is not bad - it is just that the area under the tree might as well have been pure sand.

    I always assumed that the tree took nutrition from the soils and used it for growth and for leaf production, and that even if all of the leaves had fallen and decomposed right below the tree - which is impossible - there would have been a steady decrease in the soild's nutrition. Plus little water got to the ground. And of course if the tree was a conifer the needles would turn the soil so acidic (or so base?) as to preclude anything from living there.

    I agree that having the soil tested is the smart way to go.
     
  18. Spore Print

    Spore Print Member

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    well thank you all for your hasty, and informative responses.
    i appreciate it very much!
     

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