living trellis "posts"
I just put a little pressure on a muscadine trellis post today -- it was a locust post that had been in the ground for about 5 years -- and it broke right off at the ground. I really don't want to use treated posts, but I'm questioning the reliability of locust posts which are supposedly the best rot-resistant species in the area (NC Piedmont), even though I have a lot of other locust posts that are still solid. I've considered planting osage orange trees, but that's a very long-term prospect with plenty of complications. So I've started wondering about ways to avoid posts or at least end posts altogether. What if I just used a couple of established trees for end posts with plenty of daylight in between? A living tree would likely live as long as a locust post would last, right? (And locust posts are hard to come by anyways.) So my question is: what kind of trees would make the best end posts for a trellis (or livestock fence)? I think my ideal tree would be stout, well-rooted, and reliably long-lived, and maybe even serve some use itself (e.g. fruit), but not especially tall and wide (so as not to require as many square feet.) What do you think?