MOUNT-VERNON-quickset-hedge-around-vineyard-enclosure

George Washington never realized his dream of growing a system of honey locust hedgerows, but the horticulture staff at Mount Vernon—guided by his reflections on the subject in his diaries—have planted just the kind of hedgerow he envisioned. The project started with the digging of a trench and the mounding of excavated soil along one side. The honey locust seeds were planted along the peak of the mound. Note the split-rail fence to protect the planting from destruction by deer in the early years. A major reason Washington wanted to grow living fences was his concern for the rapid depletion of forests in his area to furnish material for exactly this type of fence. But his idea was that, once a hedgerow was mature enough to repel browsing deer with its substantial thorns, the rail fence would be dismantled and moved elsewhere to protect a new hedgerow planting. Note as well that deer attempting to jump the fence would have to do so from the bottom of the trench, increasing the challenge of getting at the young hedge. Photo courtesy of Mount Vernon Ladies Association

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