To Plant a Tree


So, you’ve done your research. You’ve determined what trees grow well on your soil and climate. You’ve determined where best to plant them on your property given their height and width at maturity. They’re purchased and now you’re ready to plant!

Planting trees is not a hard process if you have modern tools like a garden tractor. Actually, it’s not a hard process if you have friendly soil, too. I have lived all over the United States and I can tell you from experience that there are places with friendly soil and there are places with enemy soil! When we lived in Northern California near the foothills of the Mendocino National Forest we had enemy soil. It was so hostile that I eventually gave up and went to container gardening. A pick axe would barely make a dent in the parched, heavy clay, mineralized soil of summer! We were advised to wait until the winter rains but we didn’t have the patience so we caved in and bought soil to fill damaged livestock water troughs. By contrast when we lived in the Central Valley near the San Joaquin River delta we had friendly soil. It was easy to cultivate.

It turns out that we have something in between enemy and friendly soil where we live now. It’s agreeable but not entirely so. I can actually dig a hole but we are older and planting sixteen trees all at once is a little beyond our comfort zone. We use modern mechanical equipment to make the process easier. To wit, we hired a man with a tractor to help us dig our holes. You do what you have to do.

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Caption: He pokes the forklift where we want the hole and the whole thing rears back off the ground. I hope he knows what he’s doing! Quickly, we see that he does.

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