||CULTIVATION OF LIVING FENCES
||Living Fence-Posts in Costa Rica
||Turrialba, Costa Rica, North America
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|Continent: North America
Country: Costa Rica
Description of the local variant of the technique
The propogation of tree species for use as living fence posts is widespread throughout Costa Rica and other Central American countries as a "sustainable agricultural practice". Generally, these fence posts are used to support barbed wire. In some instances, the use of spiny or poisonous species, grown closely together, will provide an effective barrier without the use of barbed wire. Species are chosen for particular growth characteristics, derived products, and benefits. Depending on the species, different methods of management are necessary. Most commonly, Gliricidia sepium, Bursera simaruba, and Spondias purpurea, as well as several species of Erythrina are utilized.
The sustainabilty benefits of this methodology are well explained in Garardo Budowski and Dr. Ricardo O. Russo's "Live Fence Posts in Costa Rica" :
"These trees may provide wood for fuel and
charcoal or for construction (poles, posts, pillars, etc.), edible fruits and flowers, flowers for honey, leaf forage for cattle and other domestic animals (e.g., goats, rabbits, and chickens), handicraft (seeds used for beads, ornamental wood), medicinal products, gums and resins, dyes as well as
various other products... Additionally, they continually yield new cuttings for more fence posts."
"The leaves shed by live fences serve as mulch and release nutrients to adjacent crops. The periodic pollarding (cutting back the crown of the fence posts) results in starving and death of roots, leading to small air channels in the soil which favors water infiltration. Other benefits include nitrogen fixation by some species, specially legumes, erosion control and better infiltration of water, provision of shade, use as wind-breaks, [and] niches for insect-eating birds."
1) Gerardo Budowski & Ricardo O. Russo PhD (1993) Live Fence Posts in Costa Rica, Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 3:2, 65-87, DOI: 10.1300/J064v03n02_07
http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/Gliricidia_sepium.htmGliricida Sepumhttps://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st104Bursera simarubahttps://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/purple_mombin.htmlSpondias purpureahttp://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/publicat/gutt-shel/x5556e0b.htmErythrina