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Protective Hedge

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:40 pm
by Danux
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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Re: Protective Hedge

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:18 pm
by helicopilot
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.

Re: Protective Hedge

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:55 am
by Danux
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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Re: Protective Hedge

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:36 pm
by helicopilot
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.

Re: Protective Hedge

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:30 pm
by Danux
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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Re: Protective Hedge

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:38 pm
by farmgal
They work for sure but so does rose brambles..

Re: Protective Hedge

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:59 pm
by Danux
So, I'm looking in a Tre Farm index the other day, and I come across "Buffaloberry". It looks almost exactly like Sea Buckthorn, but marginally different colour to the leaves, and red berries. Also a viable candidate for a protective hedge, berries seem to be similar in nutrition to the Sea Buckthorn. It may even be what I stumbled across on my property...

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Re: Protective Hedge

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:16 am
by Gallowshumour
Personally, I think hedges are a double-edged sword. While it might give you privacy, it also keeps your neighbors and passing cops from seeing anyone who might be trying to break into your house; there's nothing criminals like more than something to block the view of nosy neighbors. It might also give some passing sociopath the thought, "Huh, I wonder what they're trying to hide?"

Another thing you might want to consider is that you'll want to see an advancing party a long way off. Depending on how far your house is from the hedge, you can have a small force march up within Molotov cocktail throwing distance before you even know they are there. The hedge that blocks their view also blocks yours.

Re: Protective Hedge

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:32 pm
by Clarence
When we purchased our property, I very quickly learnt what prickly ash is! As I was clearing boundaries to get survey crew in, I encountered this shrub tree that instantly grabbed my attention in a very painful *@*$$”)* way. Short and very sharp thorns all on the very rigid branches. Went through jeans, leather gloves... it snagged you, stuck you and really was painful to push through. Touch it to move it and blasted stuff wants to stick to and poke you. It will tear your clothing and any exposed skin, itches like heck and last for days, so one remembers it

So if you can grab from a farmer....you / someone will have one miserable pile of brush to get through. Grows like weeds, likes sun. Seen it grow on rocky soil and damp swampy as well. I doubt it can be found at a nursery but some poor soul who has it on their property would probably be happy if you dug it up.

Plant along any weak or exposed areas you wish to cut off access to or from

Actually just thought of something for myself. I would go and cut a pile down and just lay on the ground in a little linear pile. No one will want to pick that stuff up and with some bells... it would slow people down and alert you to their presence ( plus the sound of them cursing they were born)

Miserable *$@+&)*4* stuff