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Nitrogen Fixing Trees – Permaculture Orchard

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    I’m trying to create my first permaculture orchard using the N.A.P principle meaning nitrogen tree, apple tree and pear tree in an alternating pattern. This essentially creates an island of insects on each tree rather then having for example a row of apples that are vulnerable to insects and disease.

    My question is in relation to nitrogen fixing trees. I’m of the understanding that carob trees are nitrogen fixing but I can’t find any other nitrogen fixing trees that a hardy and can grow in warmer South Australian conditions.

    Does anyone know of any nitrogen fixing trees suitable for an orchard?


    Jye 🙂




    Thanks snags also great bee attractors


    Wattles, depending on the type, can be an excellent source of poultry feed and great for protecting smaller birds.

    In my orchards I have tagasaste (aka tree lucerne) which works well.  This plant attracts beneficial insects, branches can be cut and used as mulch or fodder, poultry love to eat the seeds, and the dense branches act as a wind break and refuge for small insectivorous birds such as wrens.  It kind of depends on your soil as to how well tagasaste will work for you.

    We also have black locust, it is dreadful, you do not want this in your orchard.  It has terrible thorns so my stock do not eat it even in drought, it does not grow many leaves during dry years, the plant sends up suckers all over the place, and it is a non-nodulating legume so there is a lot of debate about how much nitrogen it sequesters and if this nitrogen actually becomes available to nearby plants.

    Judi B

    We did a bit on this last year in Permaculture meetings, wattles are good but short lived you can also use the leaves as stock food, Casuarina, Tipuanas cattle love the leaves these are a few that I have growing.


    Thanks heaps for the advice


    Short lived wattles make good passionflower trellises
    A bit of nitrogen along the way and they last about the same timeish

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