Protective Hedge

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Danux
Canada
Posts: 209
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:55 am

Protective Hedge

Post by Danux » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:40 pm

So, I've been keeping an eye out for a good tree/bush/shrub to plant along an edge of my property that borders a road. Just something that would dissuade people from stopping & trespassing, unless they were really convicted to do so. Came across a patch of Sea Buckthorn (or as I now call it "Ouchberry"), recently, and believe I have found what I am looking for.

The bush was given away to farmers for many years, as it has an excellent root system, was meant to stabilize banks, provide a wind break, keep down on erosion. It's drought tolerant, and the berries are extremely nutritious, apparently - very high in Vitamin C. Tolerant to -43C IIRC. But it's the thorns that caught my attention (and shirt sleeves) - super sharp, and very long. The only way you're muscling through a patch of Sea Buckthorn is with a vehicle or wearing knights' armour.

Seems like an excellent plant to place around a perimeter that you do not breached by casual wanderers, with the added benefit of providing a good berry, if you have the patience to pluck them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippophae


PS : If anyone has a successful way of picking these berries, I'd like to hear about it. My hands felt like a pincushion after two or three hours of slow harvesting.

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helicopilot
Canada
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:59 pm
Location: The Wildrose province

Re: Protective Hedge

Post by helicopilot » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:18 pm

I’ve tried freezing parts of branches and using a fork like I do with other small berries, but it makes a mess in the freezer, takes a lot of room and when running a fork through, it doesn’t peel as well as currant and you also still end up with leaves everywhere. So I’m now just tediously picking them from the bush, understanding I’m only picking a small percentage of the tree’s yield. Berries by themselves are far from tasty so we just add a handful to other dishes like smoothies and such. So even the small amount we pick up is still considerable in the grand scheme of things.

Danux
Canada
Posts: 209
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:55 am

Re: Protective Hedge

Post by Danux » Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:55 am

I was thinking about maybe putting some kinda catchment low in the tree, then just pulling the berries and letting them fall. I had moderate success pulling the clusters of berries outward on their thorn from the branch, but trying to catch them in the alternate hand, cupped, had me losing about half of what I was freeing. Maybe a cloth, or large basket, near/on the ground, and using the free hand to steady the branch, might prove more efficient.

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helicopilot
Canada
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:59 pm
Location: The Wildrose province

Re: Protective Hedge

Post by helicopilot » Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:36 pm

A Facebook group I belong to asked the same question about harvesting berries. One person took a video, taking a frozen branch and gently “whacking it” onto a towel covered countertop. Berries and leaves flew everywhere but after rolling the towel a few times, the berries came loose while the leaves stuck to the towel. All in all, effective-ish.

Waiting until the berries fall won’t work well as they pretty much don’t fall. In the winter, the birds eat them off the shrubs. They dry off on the branches more or less.

Danux
Canada
Posts: 209
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:55 am

Re: Protective Hedge

Post by Danux » Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:30 pm

I think I've read about that technique. Aren't they pruning the branch off the tree to do it? I'd rather not prune down the tree. My thought wasn't to wait for them to fall naturally, but rather lay down a collection cloth, and pull the berries free with my hands, let them drop. Collecting them as I pulled them seemed to be difficult. The berries seem like they're pretty stout, even when I tug them from their purchase, they rarely break apart, stay whole and plump.

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farmgal
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Canada
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Location: Ontario
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Re: Protective Hedge

Post by farmgal » Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:38 pm

They work for sure but so does rose brambles..
http://livingmydreamlifeonthefarm.wordpress.com/

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