1 Hardscrabble Farms is located at 45 Hardscrabble Road in North Salem, New York. They are a wholesale grower, supplying plant material to the wholesale trade.
2 Hardscrabble is a 40-acre facility with an impressive offering of evergreens, shade trees, fruit and flowering trees, shrubs, perennials, ground covers, and so much more.
3 They have so many unusual varieties that it's really difficult, for a tree lover, like myself, not to get carried away.
4 I've been wanting this specimen for quite some time and I purchased two - Picea - abies - Acrocona.
5 Acrocona is a Norway spruce that bears unique bright raspberry-red cones on its branch tips in the spring. As the cone matures, the pink fades to brown over the summer.
6 Hardscrabble is a busy place with loading machines always in motion.
7 New shipments arrive all the time.
8 A very nice selection of Tsuga - Canadensis - Hemlock - a species that's unfortunately, currently threatened by the hemlock woolly adelgid, a sap-sucking bug.
9 Ilex - opaca - American holly - I have already planted several of these at the farm. Their shiny green leaves and bright red berries are excellent Christmas decorations.
10 Rows and rows of shade trees
11 Blue Spruce - Picea - Fat Albert - I chose one of these.
12 Thuja - Emerald Green - arborvitae - When planted side by side, arborvitae are very useful as a wind break, privacy screen, or hedge. However, deer love chomping on them.
13 Leyland - Cypress - Another tree that's very useful as a wind break, privacy screen, or hedge, but again, it is prone to deer damage.
14 More plants being loaded up for landscaping jobs
15 Come springtime, the many hoop-houses at Hardscrabble will be filled with perennials.
16 Meanwhile, one of the crew at Hardscrabble was loading my purchases onto my dump truck.
17 Ryan and Wilmer transported the trees the twenty miles from Hardscrabble back to the farm.
18 It was the second trip they made that day. Earlier, they picked up five Norway spruce and five Serbian spruce, which will be planted inside the wall, adding to the tree screening of the road.
19 They used the Hi-Lo to lift the trees off the truck.
20 Tucked away behind the equipment barn on a gentle slope is the pinetum, my arboretum of pine trees and other conifers. I started planting it about six years ago. Five of my purchases will be planted here.
21 Early in the morning, before leaving for NYC, I showed Shaun where to plant all the new trees. Wilmer removed the lawn before digging the hole.
22 Shaun and Ryan worked together in another area.
23 The specified trees were transported to the pinetum using the tractor loader.
24 And also one of the Kawasakis. This tree is a Picea orientalis nigra compacta.
25 Unloading an Acrocona
26 To move the large conifers into position, the ball cart was put to use.
27 All loaded
28 And brought into position - Notice how a tarp is used for all of the dirt from digging the hole. This is a very neat way and makes for easy clean up.
29 Shaun likes to loosen some of the caging around the root ball. He is very careful to leave the rootball intact, so as not to damage the tree in any way. The wires and the burlap will eventually disintegrate in the ground.
30 Before tackling the larger trees, Shaun decided to start with this potted Pinus Wallichiana Zebrina.
31 It has a delicate structure and interesting variegated needles.
32 Shaun pointed out that the roots have been pot-bound and are growing in unnatural directions.
33 He used a garden scraper to loosen up those roots, which will encourage them to grow more quickly. This breaking up is called scarifying.
34 Into the hole
35 Shaun also explained that because this tree is being planted on a slope, you want to keep the top of the root ball even with the upper part of the slope.
36 I wanted to try this product calle roots M-roots, a fertilizer with mycorrhizal fungi. It helps to increase transplant survival and also increases water and nutrient absorption.
37 Shaun figured out how much to add according to the chart on the sack. He then filled in the hole.
38 And smoothed everything out - Now back to the larger specimens.