I can't seem to make a decision regarding this.... my hedge row. I read an article in Mother Earth News. Not from the magazine but one of the old articles from the web site. It was about living fences, which is something I am very much into. A living fence doesn't use up a bunch of environmentally "expensive" materials, it provides habitat and protection from the elements in the form of windbreaks. So, what's not to love?
Well, the plant either takes too long to grow, or if it steps up to the job then you have to make sure it doesn't get away from you. The latter is the case with the hedgeball tree. They are also called hedge, hedge apples, or I believe, the official name is the Osage Orange. No matter what you call them. They make some of the toughest fence post you'd ever want to find. They are long lived and they have thorns that rip the hide right off of you. That is a plus if you want to keep in cattle. Doesn't thrill me to death when you have to clean up. Yes, you will have to clean up! Because hedge suckers new growth off the roots so one hedge tree becomes a grove of hedge trees.
The instructions for creating a hedge ball fence were kind of cool. Collect a big bucket of hedge balls. I can do that! I have a big bucket and I have hedge balls out the wazoo. (figuratively speaking) Take your big bucket of hedge balls and set it outside for the winter. That's easy, I can do easy! Next spring, clear away the grass where you want your fence to go and create a small furrow. Okay, it's still easy. Take your bucket of disgusting looking hedge balls that seem the worst for wear from their winter ordeal. Add water. Mash them into a slurry. Pour the slurry in a thin line in the prepared furrow. Now how easy is that!!!
At the years end, you thin and bend the young trees over. Tying them down like hoops. The following year do the same, making the hoops go the opposite direction. It will take annual attention. Eventually, you will be harvesting fence posts off the growth as well. It's just too good to be true. I really want to try it. I am just really worried about the sucker growth going onto my neighbor's property.
I don't know.... maybe I'll go ahead and get a bucket of hedge balls and think about it over winter. It could work..... maybe.