Emily Macdonald's Comments

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At 10:21am on November 1, 2018, Jonathan Bates said…

Hello Emily,

Fun to read about your experiences with trying tree foods with your animals :) I appreciate many of the qualities you are looking for in fodders. One that I am particularly interested in is establishment time! If I can find a handful of fast growing, well liked forages, those are the ones I'd like to plant. My new experience and research with Paulownia is showing me that, although it won't grow to a full tree in my climate, as a very large winter killed perennial, it has a lot of potential. The reason is, that it will grow significant biomass regardless of dying to the ground each winter. For example, the next fastest established, high biomass tree, so far that I've tried, that will also be eaten by my livestock, black locust, has THORNY ROOT SUCKERS!!! So, although I haven't given up on black locust, some of its characteristics aren't fabulous for me as the purveyor :) Willow, the next most impressive forage tree/shrub needs to be robust enough to come back and thrive after each browse. That's looking like 3 to 4 years before it can be successful in a silvopasture. Next, popular... probably beyond 4 years unless you plant out tons of trees, and then be willing to coppice them back to keep them at browse hight, otherwise you've just planted a forest! Which tree can we look to then for establishing the powerful technique called intensive silvopasture in the Northeast USA? https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/theworldpost/wp/2018/05/30/carbon-farming/?utm_term=.b366463e0cc9

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