Into the Woods

Saturday.

A whirlwind of digging holes and planting trees.

We did the research.

  • Holes should be dug twice as wide and as deep as the root ball.
  • Broken and damaged roots should be removed.
  • Fan roots out in the hole, placing the top-most root slightly below the soil line.
  • Hold or stake tree straight while filling, break up soil
  • Water and tamp soil down with foot or shovel.
  • No fertilizing until fall

We rented the equipment.

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We recruited the helpers.

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Then we started.

Step One – Inventory

When I started to inventory our shipment, I expected to have a few extra trees. In all, we had 20 extra trees.

  • Ten American Red Bud
  • Five Antonovka Apple
  • Five Polish 10 Apple
  • Ten Crabapple
  • Ten Cherry
  • Ten Chestnut
  • Twenty Paw Paw (10 extra)
  • Twenty Persimmon (10 extra)
  • Ten Pecan
  • One magnolia (free)

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Step Two – Planning

Before we could start planting, we had to plan where each type of tree would go.

To maximize solar exposure, shorter trees should be planted south and taller trees should be planted north.

  • American Red Bud – 20-30′ tall
  • Apple – 12-16′ tall
  • Cherry – 12-15′ tall
  • Chestnut – 20-40′ tall
  • Paw Paw – 15-25 ‘ tall
  • Crabapple – 10-25′ tall
  • Persimmon – 15-20′ tall
  • Pecan – 60-80′ tall

The canopy of the tree mirrors the root system, so it was important for us to determine spacing. We don’t want to stunt growth or crowd out any of our trees.

We ended up spacing the fruit trees around 10′ apart and the pecan and chestnut trees around 20′ apart. We did plant a few closer together as we do not expect that all 75 trees will make it.

Step Three – Digging

There was no way we were going to dig 100 holes by hand. Especially when we had a perfectly good Bobcat at our disposal. So we rented an auger, and in just under 3 hours, Ray had drilled the holes.

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Step Four – Planting and Mapping

With 8 different varieties, I was determined to get an accurate map recorded.

To ensure that happened, I made a map with a number key for each variety. Then, I walked around and placed a tree in each hole, recording what I planted.

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Step Five – Watering

Normally, we would have had to water each tree, but since it was going to rain later in the evening and all day Sunday…we opted to let Mother Nature take care of it for us.

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Today the trees look rather scraggly and delicate. The root systems are fragile and the ‘trunk’ could snap with little effort.

Yet…

One day…many years from now…this will be a lush, green and edible woods.

Digging and planting
Tree after tree after tree
Growing, growing…grown

6 responses to “Into the Woods

  1. That’s a lot of tree planting! Hope the majority survives…I should go check on my fig tree. It doesn’t get enough sun where H planted it, so I’m afraid we will have to move it…~Elle

  2. Pingback: Underneath | a pinch of homestead

  3. Pingback: Neglect | a pinch of homestead

  4. Pingback: This Year’s Project | a pinch of homestead

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