The rules of spacing

From one of my favourite bloggers – Luke Simon – who blogs asn ‘Mortal Tree’ – a fascinating and informative post about how trees grow. I am going to order the book he recommends right now as it looks amazing.

Mortal Tree

I was at a Christmas party in conversation with a local Timken engineer who, hearing I design food forests, wanted to pick my brain on apple trees. He had six trees in two rows of three, well spaced in his backyard. He was throwing out terms about the mainstream organic sprays he was using, and framed his questions expecting me to know some super organic spray, or spray regimen, that would fix his problems of pests and low vigor in general. I don’t think he expected the answer I gave: ‘What’s planted around the trees?’

We often think of the rules of spacing as rules for keeping other plants away from each other. In practice I find the lines blur between species, and enters a much more broad science: it’s what should be included near the plant, as well as what shouldn’t. Between these two aspects, you make or break…

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About Anni Kelsey

Author of Edible Perennial Gardening and avid researcher into edible perennials and associated useful plants.
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One Response to The rules of spacing

  1. Simon says:

    Hi Anni,
    thanks for reposting. Really interesting blog and got me thinking about how to extend the space around some of my fruit trees in the garden to reclaim more of what used to be the lawn. I can definitely recommend the Peter Wholleben book. I’m about two-thirds of the way through it and some of the information he shares on how trees live as communities is mind blowing. There is quite a focus on the beech forests that are local to him but it has made me think about trees in an entirely different way.
    Best wishes, Simon


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