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TOPIC: Tips On Planting Poplars?

Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 14:19 #18018

  • GloPony
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I've just bought 50 x 2.5 - 3m poplar poles off TM to plant along the boundary of one of my paddocks. It's a very wet paddock so I'm hoping they'll help with soaking some of it up while providing a windbreak & fodder for the horses.

I am not at all green fingered so don't have much idea of how to give them best chance of taking, etc. Any tips on how far out from the boundary I should plant? We're thinking 4 - 5 strides apart, does that sound about right? Also, any brilliant ideas for the fastest / easiest way to plant them? Digging a hole for the odd tree here & there is one thing but I'm kind of dreading digging 50 of them!
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 14:50 #267567

There is a good article here, that may have some useful info (a lot of it will not be!).

From personal experience, I found using a round length of steel bar easiest (just thicker than your finger) - smack it in with a hammer to whatever depth you wish, wiggle it around to pull it out then push the pole into the hole you've created. Soft soil is helpful.

The poplars that run down my parent's fenceline, planted as shelter, were planted too close together in my opinon - probably 3m apart as poles. As mature trees 20 years later they are now very close together and so when one is damaged in the wind, it tends to damage the one next do it, as they have intergrown branches.

Also, I think while you do want some interlocking of roots I think if poles are too close they undermine each other - it ends up all roots and not a lot of soil after a while, so they tend to blow over in groups. This is what has happened on my parent's property and (far worse) on the neighbour's place.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 16:00 #267582

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Thanks heaps for that PG! I found a few more helpful articles on that site too. :)
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 16:09 #267585

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As PG sai but if you can get a steel post donger thingy to hit pipe in its easier and safer:)
Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 16:33 #267596

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So you mean just like a post rammer thingy that you'd use to ram warratahs?
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 16:36 #267597

The donger thing[:0] is recommended but I personally damaged several of the poles I planted, hence why I liked the bar idea better. However, I did have some steel bar to spare, and the soil was very soft.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 17:07 #267614

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Pumpkingirl;247281 wrote: The donger thing[:0] is recommended but I personally damaged several of the poles I planted

That would be my concern too PG. I am in NO doubt that I would wreck more than I plant if it's at all possible to do so! [B)][:I]

I guess I'll have to hunt around for a steel bar then. Thanks for that. :)
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 19:21 #267642

I used an offcut from my tame engineer.. .he welded a handle on it (so it looked like a cross, so I could get it out of the ground.

The cross part was near the top, if that makes sense.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 19:25 #267643

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Yes, that makes perfect sense. So you just used some hollow steel tube?

Husband recently spent a weekend building his workshop in the garage & is keen to put it to good use. I'm keen to take full advantage while the gettin's good! [;)] :D
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 19:37 #267645

No, not hollow, just a solid length of steel bar, about 15-20mm across. It was an offcut from a horse cover rack, if you know what one looks like.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 19:45 #267649

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Aah, right, gotcha! Thank you. I hope you've patented this design? :D
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 19:47 #267650

Naturally... no! :D I feel it's my duty to share this great invention with the world :D
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 21:05 #267661

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Hi, A crowbar will do the job. If they are 2.5 m long you will want at least 500mm in the ground.
Just as a word of caution, look at your district plan as many of these have rules as to how close to a boundary you can plant trees. We have that in the Manawatu in our District Plan, and if the trees grow over a certain height they cannot be planted on a boundary. If they shade the neighbours property or house that also a no no. Cheers.
Cheers
http:treeandshrub.co.nz
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 06 May 2009 22:36 #267685

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We used the one from the tree nursery they loned us and it worked great trees grew till cattle got them 4 years later:D. thats how they do them on river banks they said
Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 07 May 2009 09:12 #267730

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Use a crowbar with a pointed end, push that into the ground as far as you can, then use the rammer to push the CROWBAR further in. Don't ram the poles much.
As stated above, check with the council where you are allowed to plant. Here, if the trees will shade the road between 10am and 2pm on the shortest day then they are too close. Although the rule is not actually policed here the rule is there, so if someone kills themself in your trees then you are at fault.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 07 May 2009 15:25 #267810

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Thanks for the tip about the Council. They won't be on a road boundary & Kaipara Council is fairly easy going on boundary planting from what I can see. I don't want to wreck my nice new boundary fences with tree roots but I don't really want to take up too much of the paddock with them either as we've only got 10 acres & I need every last inch. [;)] :D

I will give them a ring just to confirm though as my life seems to be governed by Murphy a lot of the time.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 07 May 2009 21:44 #267926

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Just make sure they are tight so soil is hard up against them for roots to grow
Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 09 May 2009 01:09 #268142

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Which is why a warratah banger inner works well, if it doesn't have a knob of steel inside the cylinder. Some bangers do. It would stratch the bark on the pole.

It needs to be banged in enough, so that it stays firm in the ground and put electric fencing in front of them, far enough out, so that the horses can't reach them. If the poles aren't firm in the ground, the pole will move around in the wind and the new roots will break off and not be able to grow properly.
135 acres in Bay of Islands, including around 90 acres of Native Bush.
13 Dexter cows,
4 heifers & 3 bulls.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry.
Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
Gotland Sheep and Polled Wiltshire Sheep.
LOTS of wild birds incl. 10 Kiwi and lots of Weka. We also have frogs and a Heading Dog called Lad.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 09 May 2009 14:08 #268175

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So true Inger thats why we use one
Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 09 May 2009 17:07 #268195

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What sort of poplar are they Glopony? I'm contemplating planting a wet part of one of the paddocks and wondering whether to include some poplars in the mix.
hilldweller
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 09 May 2009 19:08 #268213

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Would you dislike me if I said we are about to chainsaw down our rows of mid aged poplars?

The track underneath remains wet and is slow to dry even in warmer weather, the falling leaves make it slippery, and it casts shade over the orchard.

We are after also removing the row of pines on the lower ledge behind the poplars, going to plant a cyprus hedge on the boundaries, and a camellia hedge for a wind break further up the ridge. that way we can stagger the heights (and width) of the cyprus hedge and keep the camellia nicely pruned too.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 09 May 2009 19:31 #268216

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swaggie, I'm busy removing all my cypress because all and any of them cause abortions. Even the dead leaves can, and cattle love them. I suspect that camellias are not too good, too. I would most definitely not use those trees on our place.
hd, if you get poplars that are good fodder for cattle and sheep then they are also good fodder for opossums. There are possum resistant cultivars around, but the animals don't like them much.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 09 May 2009 19:43 #268218

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LR - I was thinking shade rather than fodder, so the possum resistant ones might be OK. They just get so bloody big and I'm not sure I want that.

Swaggie - ditto LR's query re the camellias and stock. You may want to check that what you're planning will be safe. A camellia hedge does sound very attractive. Cypress definitely cause abortions, though I think most stock tend to leave them alone unless they're short of food. Most of the old farms around here have old macrocarpas on them.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 09 May 2009 20:18 #268225

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How about Totara? Possums won't be able to kill them and they can be trimmed into a dense hedge. Plus the stock don't usually eat them and they can't poison stock. They grow like weeds on our place.

Camelias are poisonous to stock as well, as far as I know?
135 acres in Bay of Islands, including around 90 acres of Native Bush.
13 Dexter cows,
4 heifers & 3 bulls.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry.
Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
Gotland Sheep and Polled Wiltshire Sheep.
LOTS of wild birds incl. 10 Kiwi and lots of Weka. We also have frogs and a Heading Dog called Lad.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 10 May 2009 07:54 #268260

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Camelias are similar to rhodo family in what they do to stock[xx(][xx(][xx(] We lost a ewe last year to rhodo and it was horrible (vet said at the time camelias; ... we have those too ... do exactly the same :( )...so if you do plant camelia's make sure they are well well away from where any stock can get at them[xx(]
Cheers
Leonie & Zoo!!! :silly: :woohoo:
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 10 May 2009 12:06 #268293

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Some camellias are not very poisonous - after all, that's what tea is made out of - but some are, so it would seem better to be cautious than sorry.
Totaras are quite specific about what sort of conditions they like. If they grow in your area then they would be very good. Otherwise kaihikatea are fairly hardy, or perhaps Kauri (but they would probably cost an arm and a leg unless you can get them through your local Council nursery).
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 10 May 2009 17:38 #268339

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For those in the Pukekohe area, what are the plantings of Nadina Stud on manukau Road? My understanding is they are cypress on all the paddock boundaries... and what we wanted to copy.

I also had this confirmed by a local large tree supplier.... but of course happy to hear all opinions.[^]

We are still not happy with the poplars though.....[}:)]
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 11 May 2009 10:11 #268423

Hope I'm not too late to come in on this! Just a point of caution when planting Poplars. They love water and will do anything to get to it. So give plenty of distance away from drainage pipes, especially old fashioned tile drains. They will block them with roots in no time! Roots will travel over 5 metres and seem to have devining rod ability to find your drains!
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 11 May 2009 10:56 #268444

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Thanks guys, I understand they need to be firm in the ground. My only dilemma was how to make the hole in the first place & we have that sorted now.

Wise Earth, that's the whole point of planting them. Hehehe. I want them to suck as much water out of this paddock as possible & no, they won't be near any drains.

The variety I've bought are Kawa. This is a reasonably possum & wind hardy variety. I chose poplars over natives as they're faster growing, should soak up LOTS of water (which is the No.1 reason for getting them) & are good fodder & shelter. I have read that poplars have been known to dry a wet area out in just 3 years. I'm not expecting miracles but I'm hoping they will help significantly, along with the half dozen weeping willows that I want to plant in the middle of the paddock (once again, for water sucking, shelter & anti-inflammatory properties for my arthritic oldies).

Inger, possum don't eat totara?! Tell that to the half dozen dying trees I have here! [;)]

swaggie, camelias & cyprus are both VERY toxic! I wouldn't plant either anywhere near where stock might get hold of them.

I'm still waiting on my trees...at least the ground will be soft for planting & they won't need watering! [}:)]
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 11 May 2009 17:10 #268515

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I looked up Kawa and they sound like a nice tree, though much bigger than I want here. The possum thing's got to be good and nice soft wet ground will be great for planting :)
hilldweller
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 24 May 2009 14:11 #270977

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Just wondering how the planting went Glopony, as willow poles are on my 'to do' list this week. If the rain ever stops, that is :(
hilldweller
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 25 May 2009 14:26 #271176

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Thanks for asking hilldweller! :D

I haven't even got them yet. [:(!]

When I emailed him about pick up he said they're still up north & I have until August to plant so no panic, he'll let me know when they're available. :confused:

The cheek of it! Sure, they might not need to be planted until then but I have PLENTY of other things to do between now & then & had hoped to be able to cross this one off my "to do" list. Why list them now if they're not ready now?! :(

Willows are next on my shopping list too & crikey they're hard to find as plantable poles up here! I want weeping willows & have found some at a nursery a couple of hours away but they're $29 each. I will no doubt end up paying that as we only want 3 or 4 & I'm hoping they'll be a reasonable size (hopefully with roots) for that price.

We FINALLY caught a possum in one of our nice new traps last night too. :p
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 25 May 2009 15:11 #271187

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Why dont you just find someone with some nice weeping willows and go cut some branches off them. I quite often flog some off the willows in the park by tuakau bridge. Chuck em in a bucket of water for a few weeks and volia.... they have roots and are ready to plant :)
The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing,and then they marry him.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 25 May 2009 16:25 #271205

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Maybe it's just a bit early. I've had a reply to my order of fodder willows saying they'll be available in July. I'm sure though that I read early winter is the best time for planting, and I would have thought that was about now. I'd also like to get them crossed off my list as I have time now and may not have in July.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 25 May 2009 16:57 #271212

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The regional council tree place here only opens at the end of June (till end of September) and they sell polar stakes etc so that must be the best time to plant, for this area anywaySurely it can't be much different in other parts.
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Tips On Planting Poplars? 25 May 2009 18:12 #271242

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Everything I've read says May to September so yes, there's no hurry but I NEVER shop for ANYTHING & now I've shopped, I want my trees. [:I]

Besides which, if he doesn't hurry up, I'll have redirected the money to another worthy cause (like hay for the horses) & then I'll be in the poo. I bought now 'cause I have the money now & know full well that that probably won't last. :p

Yes devan, everyone has suggested I do just that. I'd hoped for something bigger to start off with to give it a fighting chance against Chance (the tree eating grey monster) who sees all obstacles (like electric fences, etc) merely as challenges to be overcome. [}:)]

Maybe I should lop off some poles from trees as I go past to keep Chance occupied & pay the money for the bigger trees to plant? :D
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