Definition: An intruder-proof (livestock or human) barrier composed of trees and shrubs that are densely planted around the perimeter of a field.
Living fences in the Forest Garden:
Before farmers begin planting higher value crops in their Forest Gardens, they start their Forest Gardens by planting a living fence. From grazing livestock to mischievous children to unwanted intruders, protection is an essential first step in establishing a Forest Garden.
Farmers establish a living fence by planting at least 2 rows of fast-growing agroforestry trees. Not only will these trees provide much needed protection from intruders, but they will also serve as a windbreak and provide additional benefits like fuelwood, forage, food, and green fertilizer.
Trees for the Future recommends a 3-row composition, which we call a Green Wall,with the following characteristics:
Outer row – Thorny species planted close together to form a thick hedge. Early, regular pruning, as well as weaving branches, will increase density and protection.
Middle row – Fast-growing, sturdy trees to support and fortify. These trees should be pruned to create low and mid-level barriers.
Inner row – Tall, fast-growing trees. These trees should be more sparsely spaced and allowed to grow.