In permaculture design we utilize a method of design called analysis. When designing a food forest it wise to analyze and think through as much of the succession as possible of your forest (click here to learn the 7 layers of a food forest). A good example of this can be seen by looking to the products of a forest as it grows. The yields of a forest, through it’s evolution, will start with coppice, then pole timbers, then fruits, nuts, bark, and then plank timber as it matures in age.
Since bio-mimicry is a major tool when designing a food forest, we have the ability to plant all the species at once. Our first thought should go to the 1,600 – 3,200 plant and tree species that can be planted per acre (4,000 – 8,000 per hectare). Unless we are very wealthy (and even then) we will utilize an on site nursery area for seed starting and plant propagation.
There isn’t a dogma, or one way, to plant a food forest but a well thought out planting guide would include the following types of tree and plant species: Pioneer species, Mulch species, Ground covers, Tree legumes, Herbage crop, Under story species, Long term wind breaks, and Productive food bearing species.
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