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Safe Trees for Llama Pasture

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  • Safe Trees for Llama Pasture

    I have a customer needing tree recommendations for trees to plant for shade in and around a llama pasture on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Soils are droughty, land is on the bay, so must be relatively salt tolerant and of course, they need to be safe for llamas.

    The owner would like deciduous trees to line the fence and put in between pastures. There will be multiple 2 ac blocks of pasture with cool season grasses planted in them. She would like deciduous trees which they plan build shelters around so the llamas can't browse the trees. Fast growing is also a request.

    TIA for any help.
    Alison Howard
    Homestead Farms, Maryland www.freshorganicvegetables.com

  • #2
    Since I don't know what is poison to Llamas, I can't recommend any trees. She should get on some Llama forums and ask about poison trees, see what answers she gets. Maybe contact her local Ag College Vet school, ask questions there.

    Some trees meeting her desires are invasive types, undesireable for taking over an area.

    I have found the Poplar family to have many members, and they do grow quickly. Perhaps something in there would suit her. Not sure about salt air tolerance, since my knowledge is not near the ocean.

    Checking out Native species trees, which are happy in her setting could be a solution. Using the less common Natives helps keep them going in the eco system, helpful to wildlife, instead of overplanting more commonly sold trees like Maples and Pears, just because they are available cheaply. Do make sure such "Native trees" are native to the area you are planting. The WRONG natives in a place can also become invasive or pest trees.

    She also might plant double rows, with the quick growing but short lived trees to get started. Then second row of slower growing, longer lived trees to take over, continue growing, when the first ones are ready to be cleaned out. Some of those quicky hedge trees are only good for 10 years, then they die.

    Very tough, tall bushes or shrubs might also be part of her solution, added to the tree planting rows. Bushes are great windbreaks, and if chosen well, can grow tall and orderly to live with and work around. Unruly hedging would be the Rugosa roses, wild rose types. They are great hedging, wind stoppers, shady, wildlife shelter, but they always want to spread and thorns make them hard to deal with. They are VERY tough growers in adverse conditions, could be good for seaside use.

    Whatever she gets, she needs to be planning to water them for a couple years to get the roots well developed so the trees and bushes can then support themselves. Sorry, YES a couple years of watering in a droughty soil is a big commitment, but needed for getting trees started successfully. Maybe if she is well off, a watering system would work, but greenery NEEDS water dependably to grow well or at all. I have been watering my fence trees two years now, hoping for less need this year but they are still small. Have lost two to someone eating it, probably rabbits in winter. Not lack of water!! Probably will need additional watering thru the hot season of late July and August if we get no rain.