1 I've been buying plants and trees from Broken Arrow Nursery for many years. Here I am with sales manager, Chris Koppel, and nursery manager, Andy Brand. https://www.brokenarrownursery.com
2 Broken Arrow acquires, develops, and grows rare, unusual, and garden-worthy evergreens. I love looking at their selections.
3 The nursery uses more than 20-acres of land to grow their many specimens. The owners, Dick and Sally Jaynes, offer more than 1500 plants.
4 I decided I wanted a collection of Stewartia trees to add to the ones I have. Stewartia is a genus of eight to 20 species of flowering plants in the family Theaceae, related to Camellia.
5 I chose 11-trees of different varieties of Stewartia to plant at my Bedford farm. I can't wait to see them at home.
6 Chris and Andy delivered the trees directly to the farm earlier this week.
7 They carefully unloaded the trees, one by one, from the truck, and placed them onto our trusted Hi-Lo.
8 My outdoor grounds crew foreman, Chhiring, is an extremely skilled and careful driver - he moved each tree from the truck to the driveway.
9 Notice the burlap tied to the side of the Hi-Lo. This padded the metal, just in case the tree leaned - we didn't want to crush any branches.
10 They are in excellent condition.
11 They were placed in the area I selected for planting - across from the clematis pergola and outside the Tenant House, where I once grew ferns and lilies.
12 Each tree could weigh several hundred to even one-thousand pounds, so the outdoor grounds crew teamed up to help move all the trees.
13 Ryan placed flags where the trees should be planted.
14 He had already mapped-out how the trees would be placed, considering growth pattern, space needs, and appearance.
15 Phurba and Dawa began to dig the holes. They dug all the holes first in case the positioning of any trees needed changing.
16 When planting a tree or shrub, measure the height of the root-ball to determine approximate hole depth and measure diameter of the root ball to determine width of the hole. The hole should be no deeper than the calculated depth.
17 And, rule of thumb is that the width of the hole should be a foot wider than the root-ball diameter.
18 Because we also have bulbs planted in various sections of this garden, we were careful not to disrupt any of the flowers. And, any bulbs found were gently replanted.
19 Dawa continued to dig the holes.
20 Have a good quality tree fertilizer on hand to mix with the soil of the new specimen being planted.
21 Phurba sprinkled fertilizer into and around the hole and on any soil that would be used for backfill.
22 One by one each tree was carefully rolled into its assigned space.
23 Dawa removed the protective jute twine from around the tree branches.
24 Each tree is wrapped in a sheet of burlap.
25 The burlap is removed from around the root ball, but can be tucked underneath and left, or removed completely.
26 This is the root ball - a good mass of soil surrounding the roots of this Stewartia.
27 Each tree is also fitted with a root ball wire cage - this keeps the root ball intact and should be left with the tree.
28 Once the tree is placed into the hole, Ryan takes a look to ensure the tree is perfectly straight.
29 He takes a look from different angles to be sure it is straight on all sides.
30 A couple of adjustments are made.
31 Blackie, our well loved greenhouse cat, watched the process from nearby.
32 Once the tree is straight, the crew backfills the hole and gently steps around the root ball to ensure there aren't any air pockets.
33 "Bare to the flare" is the general saying when planting trees - the top of the root flare should always be above ground.
34 Phurba rakes the soil surrounding the tree so it is neat and tidy.
35 I love the bark on some Stewartia varieties - it peels this lovely bark all season long.
36 And onto the next tree - it took two days to dig all the holes and plant all the trees.
37 Here it is after they were all planted.
38 And, here it is after all the tags were removed and a last raking was completed - the grove looks wonderful.
39 I am excited to watch these trees grow and thrive.