Walnut and Hackberry

This is not a recipe for food.  It’s an example of walnut and hackberry tree guilds.  They go together like peas and carrots.

I didn’t realize this until I read Gaia’s Garden but I have hackberry trees next to my walnut trees.  Now, to be fair, I have hackberry trees everywhere.  But I also have oak trees everywhere…except where the walnut trees dominate.  So, here is a walnut tree.Walnut

And here is a hackberry next to it.

Hackberry

Walnut in the foreground, hackberry in the stream and more walnuts up the hill a bit.

WalnutsAndHackberry

Now, these guilds would be much more complex if the cattle hadn’t been run through the woods non-stop for at least the last half-century.  Really, the only trees that have not been grazed immediately after sprouting are the ones with thorns.  Neither the hedge nor honey locust seem to be bothered by the juglone.

LocustHedgeWalnut

And they are making more thorny things for my pasture.  Look at those thorns!  I really have to replace my honey locust with black locust.  I’m all in favor of fixing Nitrogen but not at the expense of my foot.  I had one go all the way through my boot last year.  I can’t let these seeds germinate.

FutureThorns

Back on topic.  Need more?  How about this?  Hackberry, walnut and grapes with a side of Virginia Creeper.

WalnutsAndHackberry2

Or a whole grove of hackberry that the walnuts have infiltrated

HackberryAndWalnut

Both trees are alleopathic but, in a guild, can function to allow other plants to grow as well.  The book, which in this section is slanted toward the west, suggests currants and wolfberries.  I don’t even know what a wolfberry is but we do have currants.  We also have gooseberries.

With proper management, and a bit of luck, I should be able to get ahead of the thorny things and maintain the existing tree guilds while establishing new trees to increase plant diversity.  I just had to learn to see the forest for the trees.  What do you see out there?

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One thought on “Walnut and Hackberry

  1. oh my gosh, those thorns/spikes look evil. I heard honey locusts were thorny, but I thought we were talking hawthorn type thorny….

    I have not heard of wolfberry either, so it’s not as Western as all that….mind you, in Canada people back East think West stops at the Rockies.

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