Spring has sprung.
The rains have come.
And my tree planting has just begun.
With 250 spruce seedlings in hand , when will my job be done?
Each year I order trees from the Virginia state nursery and plant as many trees as I can. I encourage my friends and neighbors to help and I give to my customers a tree or two. Some times I participate in an Arbor Day exercise with grade schools and offer the seedlings to students to take home to plant. I started doing this in 1986 and am a proud caretaker of a 30 foot tree my son planted when he was in the fourth grade. To me planting a tree is an act of kindness and is a way of paying forward to a clean and healthy environment for future generations.
Planting seedlings can be a fairly easy task. Choose a wet day, add a dibble bar, a bucket of trees, and start planting. Tree seedlings are shipped with bare roots and they need to be kept cool and moist until planted. A dibble bar is used to open the earth and to press the soil firmly against the bare roots. Professional tree planters can plant hundreds of seedlings per day. The more cultivated the soil the more likely the tree is to survive. Seedlings cost under a dollar per tree so if the tree fails to take the first year the loss is minimal and there is always next year to try again.
Large trees are more complicated. When transplanting a tree, whether from the nursery or the wild, you can receive good results if you follow these simple tips.
1. Select young, healthy trees. the younger the tree the more it is likely to survive.
2. Prepare the new planting hole before digging up the tree.
3. Dig or choose a tree with a large root ball, measuring 10 inches in diameter for every inch of stem diameter.
4. Minimize the roots’ exposure to air by covering the root ball with burlap or other similar material.
5. Transport the tree carefully, avoiding damage to the root ball. Employ extra help and special equipment such as a truck, dolly, two man sling, or even a hydraulic tree spade.
6. The root ball must be planted on a solid footing and at the same depth as before its’ lifting. If the planting hole is too deep, back fill with compacted dirt.
7. Care for your new transplant. Plan regular follow up visits, especially during dry times when extra watering is needed. Mulch goes a long way on holding moisture, keeping roots cool during hot times and warmer during cold times. Mulching is the natural way to fertilize and improve your trees growing environment.
Habitat Services is here to assist with your planting needs. Call us today and get a spring in your jump on the planting season.