Fruit tree orchard in chicken area - how to reduce nitrogen levels in soil?

Hello, I’m new to the forum, happy to be here.

I live on a small 1/4 acre lot in Portland, OR that we have pretty well planted with vegetable gardens and fruit bushes and trees. I have a small fruit tree orchard in my chicken area, total square footage 1250 sq ft. I have twelve hens back there right now, they are confined to this area. Over the past four years, I’ve planted six semi-dwarf fruit trees in that chicken area - Asian pear, Fuyu persimmon, peach, pineapple quince, green gage plum, and red flesh apple.

The trees are all good sized and very healthy, I prune every winter and summer. The problem is the trees are not producing blossoms or fruit, just a lot of green vegetative growth. Pollination is not the issue, we have a healthy group of Mason bees.

I’m pretty sure the issue with the fruit trees is that they are getting way too much nitrogen in the soil back there. We get consistent rain November-June every year and all that chicken manure soaking into the soil appears to be stunting any flower/fruit growth.

I’m looking for all suggestions to mitigate or consume the soil nitrogen back there. Thank you in advance for any advice!

First and foremost in your mitigation efforts would be to remove the chickens from that area. If that’s not feasible I guess that’s the end of it.

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Yes, probably no magic solution available. Only solutions I can think of are eating the chickens, covering the ground with an impermeable barrier, or planting a cover crop that is a heavy feeder. Chickens usually dig up the landscape, so I’m not sure the cover crop would help.

could you post a picture of your tree’s? Lets first make sure it is really a nitrogen/chicken problem. And not something else. (like a immature or incorrectly pruned tree)

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