After harvesting many hazelnuts, I set out to build portable-sized, modular air prune beds to propagate trees. I followed inspiration from Twisted Tree Farm and Edible Acres. I built one air prune bed before and it works but I learned a lot I’d change from the process: deeper sides, sturdier sides and no need to fuss with building handles as I had before. I also use gifted premade air prune beds for apple and pawpaw seedlings and am happy to have them!
I started by revisiting the videos by Twisted Tree & Edible Acres linked above, then drew plans out – both a helpful and recreational activity – as a loose guide for modular air prune beds. Then I gathered materials for the build.
Having recently moved I didn’t have much wood around, so I visited a local lumber yard. A friend recommended a locust lumber yard that offered a great deal on loads of scrap wood and off cuts. Scrap wood shares a benefit with thrifting: less damage is done when some is inevitably wasted or somehow degraded.
I had a lumber list from the drawn out plans, then arrived at the lumber yard’s large scrap pile and thought “oh yeah, one way or another I’m gonna (hopefully) satisfy this list (and beyond?)” It was hard to judge what I got vs. my list given the variation of all the pieces I was grabbing. I looked for useful widths and lengths and quality, enjoying the bounty of cheap scrap lumber from some wonderful trees (mainly black locust)!
Putting together air prune beds with scrap wood will be a matter of sorting and cutting to size and around unusable defects. Again, like thrifting, the wood being scrappy seems fitting for developing my novice carpentry skills.
For an idea of what I’m going for: Portable Permaculture Polyculture Propagation with Edible Acres