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Old 6th May 2009, 02:19 PM   #1
GloPony
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Tips On Planting Poplars?

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!

Last edited by GloPony; 6th May 2009 at 02:39 PM..
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Old 6th May 2009, 02:50 PM   #2
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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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Old 6th May 2009, 04:00 PM   #3
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

Thanks heaps for that PG! I found a few more helpful articles on that site too.
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Old 6th May 2009, 04:09 PM   #4
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

As PG sai but if you can get a steel post donger thingy to hit pipe in its easier and safer
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Old 6th May 2009, 04:33 PM   #5
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

So you mean just like a post rammer thingy that you'd use to ram warratahs?
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Old 6th May 2009, 04:36 PM   #6
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

The donger thing 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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Old 6th May 2009, 05:07 PM   #7
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumpkingirl View Post
The donger thing 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!

I guess I'll have to hunt around for a steel bar then. Thanks for that.
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Old 6th May 2009, 07:21 PM   #8
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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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Old 6th May 2009, 07:25 PM   #9
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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!
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Old 6th May 2009, 07:37 PM   #10
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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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Old 6th May 2009, 07:45 PM   #11
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

Aah, right, gotcha! Thank you. I hope you've patented this design?
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Old 6th May 2009, 07:47 PM   #12
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

Naturally... no! I feel it's my duty to share this great invention with the world
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Old 6th May 2009, 09:05 PM   #13
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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.
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Old 6th May 2009, 10:36 PM   #14
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

We used the one from the tree nursery they loned us and it worked great trees grew till cattle got them 4 years later. thats how they do them on river banks they said
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Old 7th May 2009, 09:12 AM   #15
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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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Old 7th May 2009, 03:25 PM   #16
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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.

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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Old 7th May 2009, 09:44 PM   #17
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

Just make sure they are tight so soil is hard up against them for roots to grow
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Old 9th May 2009, 01:09 AM   #18
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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.

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Old 9th May 2009, 02:08 PM   #19
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

So true Inger thats why we use one
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Old 9th May 2009, 05:07 PM   #20
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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.
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Old 9th May 2009, 07:08 PM   #21
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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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Old 9th May 2009, 07:31 PM   #22
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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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Old 9th May 2009, 07:43 PM   #23
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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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Old 9th May 2009, 08:18 PM   #24
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

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?
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Old 10th May 2009, 07:54 AM   #25
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Re: Tips On Planting Poplars?

Camelias are similar to rhodo family in what they do to stock 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
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