Need suggestions of things to plant by wood fence

Sunnyvale, CA

We're recently finally bought a small acreage in the country [Angels Camp CA - 1400ft Zone 8]
I need something to plant along the fence between the fence and road...Right now, there are thistles...
Needs to be safe for if horses or goats inside the fence try to eat it., and tough enough to survive if they or deer munch on it!

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Jemfire, can you post a picture of the area in question? Need to have some idea of the space available and how much sun the area gets. Also, what kind of height are you considering?

Sunnyvale, CA

I'll try to get a pic next time......
Basically it's a very slight sloping pasture w/o any shade and there are 2 fences, one running almost east/west, and the other almost north/south........I've pulled most of the thistles now.....We have oaks in other places......Heavy clay soil...Good winter rain with a high watertable......pasture's squarish.......about 3 acres total, and the x2 property line fences run about 120 yards each......The fence is about 3ft high with corral boards....I would like the bushes / trees to be somewhat higher.......
Since I posted, I have planted a couple of big cone pines and a blue spruce.....I'm thinking of hawthorn / barberry or sea buckthorn...... I want to plant thing from seed / seedling ....Everything I do plant needs to be protected from gophers and deer until it gets well established, which is a huge pain setting it up, but if anything I plant dies, then at least all I have to do is to slip in something new!
I'd LOVE some creative suggestions!


Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

I found this link with new for 2012 shrubs. I think most of them would work in your area. There are about 30 listed here.And 2 other links for you.

Sunnyvale, CA

Oops...Got busy being out in the garden and forgot about the internet for awhile......Everything I plant needs gopher wire to protect young roots, and then deer fencing to protect anything showing above ground.....Don't know how the critters know when you plant something new...After-all, with acres of land that's got oaks, grass and weeds growing ....The deer don't even bother to taste the weeds, but plant just one tiny plant you'd like to grow, and "slurp"'s gone in a mouthful!!! [LOL!]
Thanks for the posts...Always fun to check out...Some of the ideas needed more watering than is possible in summer, and many needed well-drained [we have clay], but I can make changes etc....Always nice to look too, and thank you so much for the trouble you took to find / send the links - even though I ignored them for a couple of months!
I'm learning how to post pics...Maybe I'll try it next time I can pull myself away from the "great outside"

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Hope you are enjoying your time out in the garden. Looking forward to your progress pics.

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Unfortunately many plants that deer avoid, they avoid because the plants are toxic. Not only to deer, but to horses as well.

I would not try to grow a vine under these conditions. I would plant trees in a box that would protect them from horses and deer, and dig a very large hole (think 'tractor' not 'pick and shovel') and make a mesh out of Aviary Mesh (smaller holes than chicken wire) for the roots to get a really good start. Eventually the mesh will rust, and the roots grow outside of the mesh, but by then the roots will be wide spread and gophers will not be able to kill the plant. Protect the trunk with a plastic tube. Voles, gophers, rabbits and perhaps other critters like bark.

1) A tree that deer eat, grown in a protected way, will soon grow too tall for the deer to reach.
2) A non-toxic plant is safer around domestic animals. If leaves, flowers or fruit fall, and get eaten, there is no risk.
3) Trees provide shade for the pasture animals
4) Keeping a sturdy railing around the tree keeps the horses and goats from rubbing against the tree, damaging it when it is young (perhaps up to 10 years old).

When you are looking for a plant that will thrive under native rainfall patterns, look into native plants. Have a good look around at what is thriving in your neighbors' gardens, and under what conditions (irrigated or not).

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