Letter Re: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Reinforcing Your Retreat for Long Term Survival on the Cheap

Concerning the article by Q.T. about fence building. A good book on the subject is, “Fences, Gates, and Bridges, and How to Make Them” by George Martin. It includes a longer and more complete explanation, and pictures, of the plash method of fence building.

…And a caution!
Be careful what plants you choose for building your fences. It can have unintended consequences. Fifty years ago, the local County Agriculture Agents recommended to all the farmers around here, that we plant multiflora rose bushes. The agents said the roses were cheap, would grow fast and they would form an impenetrable barrier for livestock. They were exactly right on all counts. But, what none of us realized at the time was that they also produce thousands of hips that the birds like to eat, but don’t digest. Within a few short years there were roses everywhere. ..Roses that will puncture the toughest tractor tire, are really hard to kill and will grow fifty feet tall.

Russian olive is another cheap to buy, fast growing fence plant that will also spread in ways you won’t like. So be careful and choose wisely. – Jim Fry, Curator, Museum of Western Reserve Farms & Equipment, Ohio