What’s so great about hedgerows (a row of shrubs and trees)?
Hedgerows are neat lines of tall plants that hug the sides of streams, roads, and properties. Europe has embraced the hedgerow for centuries and they’re gaining popularity in the U.S., especially among farmers. They can vary in shape, size, and plant variety, depending on the resource concerns being addressed, and have many benefits such as:
- Increasing wildlife habitat
- Blocking wind, dust, or pesticide drift
- Reducing pollution
- Preventing trespass onto private fields
Why did Sparrowhawk Farm plant hedgerows?
Because the farm is transitioning to become a certified organic operation, farm manager James Brougham was concerned about pesticides drifting onto crops from neighboring fields. He also wanted to attract beneficial insects that he relies on to pollinate his crops.
How does the hedgerow help meet Sparrowhawk Farm’s goals?
This hedgerow is unique because it is made of several rows of coniferous trees. These trees are arranged from shortest to tallest, with staggered spacing. This arrangement will direct airflow through the trees instead of up and over them. Because conifers have a large surface area, they’ll capture any drift carried by the wind, preventing it from reaching the organic crops in field.
Sparrowhawk Farm’s partnership with Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District (TSWCD) on the hedgerow:
James said, “It would have been years before we could accomplish it with our own resources. Working with [TSWCD] was very positive. From planning the project to getting everything in the ground, it was efficient, and I felt listened to.”
TSWCD provides planning and financial assistance to landowners for conservation projects:
Our planners understand each property is unique and that every project varies in size, shape, and look. Whatever the scope, we can help you maximize the benefits of your project.
The USDA and NRCS can help you decide what’s best for your land.
James Brougham used a book from the Xerces Society called Farming with Native Beneficial Insects. “It was the first resource that made me realize there is help available to farmers wanting to implement good management practices. I think it’s good to read about these practices first, so you understand their function and design.”
If you are interested in pursuing a hedgerow or other conservation project on rural acreage, please contact Tatiana Taylor, Rural Conservation Technician, at (503) 858-2149 or email@example.com.