A friend sent me the following link to a video of "hedgelaying" in England: http://youtu.be/iGncS_lojlI 

Interesting to watch, but makes me appreciate my high-tensile fences even more! 

I remember my grandpa telling me that the extensive osage orange hedges around their farm in Kansas were originally planted as living fences.  I have a hard time envisioning how an osage planting would work for that purpose today, unless woven wire was stapled to the trunks.  A northeast version of this was multiflora rose: https://archive.org/details/multiflorarosefo256ande_0  Maybe a combination of osage and multifloral rose would work?  If not, then maybe one could apply for NRCS cost-share to later eradicate the unwanted multiflora rose :)

My favorite definition of agroforestry is "working trees and shrubs in ag landscapes", so the Living Fence concept seems to fit nicely within silvopasturing.  Anyone have experience or ideas on how to make this work from a practical standpoint in the Northeast?

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I don’t know about living fences, though my uncle introduced multiflora rose to our farm many years ago, and it has been a scourge to us ever since!

We are considering erecting a Jack-Leg fence, also sometimes called a Buck-and-Pole fence.  I would like to hear about other people’s experiences with this type of natural fence, particularly the livestock they contained with it and the hours of labor required to construct such a fence. The pictures below show the type of fence I envision.

We are currently removing birch saplings from a stand of white pine, so we have an abundance of 3-6 inch diameter poles. The stand of white pines is adjacent to an area we are converting to silvopasture. I would like to use the birch poles to enclose the silvopasture area, with an eye towards putting hogs on the land for a few years. Does anyone have suggestions, comments, or experiences to share?


Birch is one of the least decay-resistant woods.  Even if elevated off the ground, I don't think the birch poles will last more than a few years.

Brett I am working on an Osage Orange fence right now. The biggest challenge was how to harvest the seeds. I could find no literature on how to do it large scale. I picked 3/4 of a full size pick-up bed of pods and each pod supposedly has about 200 seeds in it. I ended up letting them rot down over winter and then finished off the remains in a 110 gallons water trough. Not sure of the viability of the seeds though. Will have to let you know. This year I laid pods along the fence line every 6-12 inches and will see what sprouts. I am soaking a smaller number in a 75 gallon tank to harvest the seeds and plant them, the seedlings will then be planted in the fence row. I also will push some pods directly into the ground to see how they come up too. I enjoyed the videos as that is roughly what I will be doing to create the living fence of Osage Orange.

Yes, Multi Flora Rose was brought here in the 1900's for "living fences."

I want to build a jack leg fence over a stone wall and then run electric on it.

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