1 Because it was so crucial to get bare root seedlings into the ground after they arrived, we temporarily planted bunches in the garden bed next to the tulips until a more proper location was prepared. These bare root seedlings came from JLPN in Salem, Oregon. https://jlpnliners.com
2 A large field next to my growing Christmas trees was cleared, tilled and filled with nutrient rich "black gold". This will be home to the trees for at least a year until they are more developed.
3 My head gardener, Ryan McCallister, measured the field, so all the trees could be spaced evenly in rows.
4 Using twine spooled around a garden stake, Wilmer lined up the first row, and planned where the trees would go.
5 These are so helpful around the garden for lining anything. It was from one of my previous gardening collections.
6 Wilmer begins digging the holes, using the twine as his guide. He used a post hole digger to start, but any spade shovel would also work.
7 The first rows are planted with Japanese zelkova, or Japanese elm - a species of flowering plant native to Japan, Korea, eastern China and Taiwan. It is often grown as an ornamental tree, and used in bonsai.
8 This particular tree has a pretty large root system, so to give ample room to grow, only 10 to each row - there are about 50 of them.
9 Wilmer plants each tree carefully, making sure to cover all the roots.
10 This first row of trees looks wonderful.
11 Wilmer and Carlos worked together - digging each hole one by one, and planting each tree in the same manner. There were hundreds of trees to plant.
12 All the trees were soaked in water the morning they were removed from the temporary bed, and then taken to the field in trug baskets, so they remained moist.
13 Trees need three very important elements from the soil - air, adequate water drainage, and rich nutrients.
14 Ryan lays down the seedlings to indicate where they should go. I wanted them planted about eight-inches apart, so there was adequate room for them to grow.
15 Wilmer carefully places the dormant bare root tree into the hole and spreads its roots to encourage outward growth.
16 He then backfills the hole, making sure the tree is completely perpendicular to the ground, so it grows straight.
17 Wilmer plants each one at the same depth as it was in the nursery, keeping the graft union or the noticeable bump on the lower trunk, a few inches above ground.
18 Once he plants the trees, Wilmer gently steps on the area to make sure there are no air pockets.
19 These trees had smaller root systems, so they were planted 25 to each row. At this dormant stage, they all look the same, but there are several different varieties of trees.
20 Some of the other trees planted include Littleleaf lindens - a medium-sized tree native to Europe, with a strikingly dense pyramidal to rounded crown. The flowers are highly fragrant and attractive to bees. The largest tree in North Dakota is 35-feet tall with a canopy spread of 32-feet.
21 Columnar English Oak trees have strong, upright branches, which develop low on the trunk to create a dense columnar tree with deeply grooved bark. Its dark green leaves turn golden yellow then brown in fall often clinging through winter.
22 On this bare root tree, it's easy to see the acorn. The acorn, or oak nut, is the nut of the oaks and their close relatives. It usually contains a single seed.
23 Persian ironwood is a member of the witch hazel family. It grows slowly, first as a multi-stemmed large shrub, then eventually as a low-branched, round-headed tree.
24 The hardy rubber tree is typically grown as an ornamental shade tree because of its attractive glossy green foliage and its excellent resistance to insect and disease problems. It is a low-branching tree that typically grows 40 to 60-feet tall with broad ascending branches and a rounded spreading crown.
25 Populus tremuloides is a deciduous tree native to cooler areas of North America - one of several species referred to by the common name Aspen. The trees have tall trunks, up to 80-feet tall, with smooth pale bark, scarred with black. The glossy green leaves become golden to yellow in autumn.
26 The American sweetgum, with its star-shaped leaves, neatly compact crown, interesting fruit and twigs with unique corky growths called wings, is an attractive shade tree. It has become a prized specimen in parks, campuses and large yards across the country.
27 The katsura tree is among my favorites. Native to Japan, it makes an excellent specimen or shade tree in Midwestern landscapes. Its foliage offers an array of color throughout the year. In spring, heart-shaped leaves emerge reddish-purple, changing to blue-green as they mature.
28 Betula nigra, commonly called river birch, is a vigorous, fast-growing, medium-sized, Missouri native deciduous tree which occurs on floodplains, swampy bottomlands and along streams. It matures to a more rounded shape typically growing 40 to 70 feet tall.
29 Once the trees were planted, Ryan waters them thoroughly. They will be hand watered at least once a week for quite some time until their root systems are established.
30 A field of hundreds and hundreds of trees. I am looking forward to watching them flourish.