View Full Version : Pine
26-06-2003, 01:27 PM
Hi everyone, this is my first post and I am a newby in Permaculture - so pls be kind.
I am considering purchasing a property in south-west QLD (Roma) that has ajoins a pine forest. The soil is sandy-rocky and covered in pine needles therefore there is very little grass growth.
If I cleared an area, added swales and mulched the pine cuttings and needles would the pine poison the soil or should I find another source of mulch ? I understand the soil will take time and effort to regenerate but is the pine too much of an hinderance ?
thanks in advance
26-06-2003, 10:06 PM
Hello Mr. Newby,
Unlike other lists everyone's kind here and hopefully remembers that at differing times in the past we were all pc newbies each and everyone of us....(I like the term by the way - mind if I use it?)
Have a look around the edges of the pine forest (what species of pine by the way?) and see what acacia's or casuarina's are growing if any would be my first stop - then you can see what endemic n-fixers you can utilise in your reclamation works. The swale bit and all that will work of course, but I would look at establishing the more valued tree members of the aforementioned genus' (hopefully some are colonising close by to get a species) slightly off contour (angle out falling slightly out of gullies toward adjacent ridges) on ripped rows in between the swales - the spacing and dimensions of which would be determined by the soil type and drainage, slope degree and peak rainfall level. You may have 5m+ wide swales @ 36m intervals with mounded tree rows in between @4m spacings - which act as mini swales and increase effective rainfall considerably.
Overcoming the pine allelopathic chemicals left by the pines may be done by remineralising and increasing/ microbial activity (others on the list may have some better ideas!) in the soil. Maybe talk to NutriTech Solutions in Yandina (I think its http://www.nutri-tech.com.au - something like that) and they may have an approach worth considering - bring it back to the list as I'm sure others would be interested as its a issue many face. As you said though - time is the best healer.
Jeez nice country round Roma - good luck from an envious mexican.
27-06-2003, 09:32 PM
In my humble opinion pine is over rated as a no-no.
I live in the land of pinus radiata plantations. I collect pine needles as mulch from the plantations.
Throw in a little lime as a counter to acidity and all is sweet.
The pine creates great soil. Deep and black.
I believe that the introduction to Australia of pine was not possible until a particular Boletus fungi was introduced as well. This fungi fixes phosphorous normally not available to plants and makes it available to the pine.
In short, I would selectively thin a pine plantation and use all of the properties of the pine to provide micro-climate and on-going production.
Years ago (about 23 in fact) Bill Mollison came to visit. At the time we were camped in a shed on a pine plantation, adjacent to our property. I still remember his excitement: "I have always wanted to play with a pine plantation."
There is a great number of plants that exist in the "native pine forests". Mostly they exist as pine-oak associations and include an amazing range of plants at every level, including palms, ferns, creepers and shrubs.
27-06-2003, 10:46 PM
i use a mix of pine and general forest chips as a mulch.... its great for micro organisms....i am building up the acidity for my asian garden so i can plant my azaleas, camelias etc safely(my 2 favourite plants even though not much good for permaculture)
as mentioned organic matter will help counteract acidity... there are quite a few food species that love the acidity that you can grow in Qld.... strawberries for one.... and lots of other berries like blueberries should do well also
check with your local nursery what sort of fruit trees like a more acidic soil.... there are quite a few.... Roma doesnt get very humid does it? could be a great opportunity to take advantage of using the acidity already there .... as hot as it gets there i would imagine you get quite a few frosts and enough chilling hours there to grow some fruit trees that just may love your soil type! have you tested your soil for pH?
let us know how you get on.... and welcome to the forum :D
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