Monday, February 28, 2011

Gearing Up to Garden 5

Many of you have a gardening season that starts much earlier than ours. For that reason, I'm going to re-visit some posts from the past about starting seedlings, preparing the soil and more. I hope you find them to be useful! Personally, I'm just enjoying seeing Little Bit when she was so little!

Planting Trees
Originally published April 30, 2008

We celebrated Arbor Day by planting thirty Ponderosa Pines. Okay, I was hanging out laundry and cleaning out a shed - but my Sweetie and Little Sweetie planted trees! It was her first tree planting experience - she did a great job!

We get the trees from the state Forest Service. They offer quite a few varieties, but we've had the most success with Ponderosa Pine, Junipers and Locusts. We have a few other varieties we've planted, and there are some shrubby plants that do well too (Quailbush, Sand Cherry, Wild Roses) but the Ponderosas seem to really like it here. When you get the trees from the Forest Service, they are 'limited use'. You can't use them (or sell them to other people) for landscaping, for example. We use ours for wind protection and wildlife habitat.

We put polymer crystals in the soil around our baby trees. Polymer crystals absorb a great deal of water and make it available to the roots of the trees. They also ease the shock of transplant and help the trees cope with our semi-arid climate. Dry, the crystals are a little bigger than coarse sand, but once they absorb water they are pretty big...and squishy...and fun to play with!

This is a standard potted stock tree from the forest service. Sure, it looks like a bottle brush with a little root 'handle' but we've had a lot of success with the potted stock. We have some of these 'bottle brushes' that have grown to be close to 15 feet tall!

Into the ground, little tree! We plant them in a slight depression, to keep water from running away from the tree. We don't get much rain, so we don't worry about the tree getting overly wet.

Ready....Set.....GROW! Let's see which of them grows faster!

Linked to Farm Friend Friday


gowestferalwoman said...

This is a well informed wonderful post on planting trees ~ and your little helper is the cutest little tree planter I have ever seen :) !

Buttons said...

Thank you so much for the lesson. I love planting trees and sitting in a forest of them.

Teresa said...

She is so adorable and a great helper! I'm guessing she'll grow too fast and the trees too slow!

Dreaming said...

We are just about ready to order some trees and shrubs from the forest service, too. Ponderosa Pines were on our list. I've never done it before, so it was interesting to ready your post and see the pictures of what we can expect. Thanks!
Hmmm, do you think we could hire some experienced tree planters?!

Ten Things Farm said...

Dreaming....if you want to touch base with me, send me an email at tenthingsfarm(at) We are in the same state, and if we're close, tree planting is a lot of fun! :)

And as for the adorable child - I concur, everybody!

Verde Farm said...

I always loved getting these little trees in school We always planted ours too :) Great to see!


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