Goat Landscaping

Complimentary to our permaculture design & consulting services, we also offer goat-landscaping for land management and ecosystem restoration. With their munching mouths and hoof treading acrobatics, plants are eaten and soils enlivened. Our herd can be rented for invasive plant-species control, overgrowth cycling, soil building, and fertilization in areas that may be difficult for humans to access or address, even with machinery. The cost of renting our herd can pass on significant savings to both individuals and organizations alike. No chemicals are needed to slow down plants like bush honeysuckle or multiflora rose, just cute and cuddly goats!

Goats behind electric net fencing, a useful tool in goat scaping

How it Works

Below is a step-by-step process of how we work with the goats, the land, and clients to benefit all.

  • You inquire about the possibility of working with our goat herd and crew of landscapers (form below)
  • We exchange dialogue via email and phone to define the initial scope and review satellite maps
  • A TreeYo rep will come to the land to meet with you and evaluate the land/ context for goat-scaping whilst discussing particulars around the process
  • The TreeYo team will design the installation and rotations and produce a quote
  • If terms and conditions are agreed upon, the lines for electric fence and housing for the goats will be installed.  Temporary housing is also installed because goat don’t like to get wet, need a place to chill and receive supplements.  Electric fence keeps the goats in and predators out and is powered by solar panels.
  • The goats are loaded in the transport van and are dropped off.
  • Daily or weekly management is done in conjunction with the landowner or public park staff (water, feed, fence check, etc).
  • Vegetation that the goats can’t reach, like 30 ft tall honeysuckle, is cut for the goats to eat. This branchy material is arranged for access and to further slow water and erosion after it is defoliated by the goats.
  • We rotate the goats with new fence line cuts on bigger sites.
  • The structures are taken down, goats loaded up, and fence removed.  Final cleanup is accomplished.
  • Planting can commence afterward but do see the bottom of the page on that one.

Benefits of utilizing goats for

brush removal & land management:

  • Reduces the carbon footprint of your project

Conventional landscaping can be heavy on fossil-fuel usage, requiring fuel for transport of workers, heavy machinery, mowers and weedeaters. With TreeYo, we only require fuel for transportation of goats and the occasional equipment used to install lines of fence. We utilize solar re-chargable batteries for energizing our fences and electric equipment when possible.

  • Reduces the need for chemical applications

Conventional landscaping services can involve heavy spraying of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizers. This treadmill of chemical use costs a lot of money and trickles down pollution to all in its path. However, we avoid chemical applications whilst leveraging the use of biological resources.

  • Improved soil structure & fertilization 

 With conventional agricultural and landscaping practices, heavy machinery compacts the soil and even induces growth of invasive species. As the goats herd moves, their hooves perfectly disturb the soil and help cycle carbon back to the forest floor. However, as the herd moves, they also deposit high-quality fertilizer into the soil via their manures, which comes out in small pellets (much like a rabbit). Due to the small size, consistency, and probiotic nature, this cycled carbon quickly breaks down and increases the fertility of your land.

  • Goats are cute!

And let’s just face the facts… goats are much cuter and more entertaining than watching some person spray glyphosate on your invasive honeysuckle. Goats have personality, their herd structure is interesting to observe, they are incredibly playful and don’t make the racket that fuel-powered equipment does. They are A-L-W-A-Y-S hungry… so, let’s feed the goats!

If you are interested in a quote for your project, please submit your information in the form below:

 

Press / News

Herd of goats now part of Colerain Township landscaping team | WKRC (local12.com)

Colerain Township has hired a herd of goats to clear honeysuckle in the park (cincinnati.com)

Colerain Township hires herd of goats to remove invasive plants (wlwt.com)

Goats added to landscaping crew at Colerain Park (fox19.com)

 

Why do invasives grow and goats help?

Fragmented forests that have been disturbed by suburban development, logging, fire, and/ or industrial ag tend to produce high amounts of non-native dense undergrowth and poor-quality forests in terms of biodiversity, water infiltration, and soil fertility.   There are many tools to repair this, and we choose to employ goats and handsaws to help the root of the problem, compaction, erosion, and low fertility.  We also plant in after the goats do a round or do several rounds, depending on the context.  For example, in the project below on the west side of Cincinnati, we did a round of goat eating and then followed up with planting native edibles/ habitat in the form of paw paws, spicebush, and serviceberry to name a few.  Our edible landscaping service works in conjunction with the goats to create holistic and abundant landscapes and parks.

Some of the goats favorite plants include the following:

  • Bush Honeysuckle
  • Multiflora Rose
  • Vining Honeysuckle
  • Privet
  • Eleagnus (Autumn Olive, etc)
  • Burning Bush
  • Lespedeza
  • Blackberry

 

 

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