Tree planting is the reforestation of your forestry garden turning your acreage into an eye pleasing forest garden.
When you transplant seedlings you are starting the steps necessary to turn your area into an eye pleasing forest garden.
Now that you have selected the seedlings and have obtained them it is time to get them into the ground.
After you obtain the seedlings do not wait a very long period of time before you do this.
If you leave them out of the ground for a long period of time it can have a bad effect upon the outcome.
A few days is okay but not much longer.
You should strive to store the seedlings in a cool place out of the direct sunlight.
They came from a cool place when you obtained them.
The nursery stores them in coolers for a reason.
So follow suit and you will not have a problem.
Equipment used for the seedlings planting
Now that you have the seedling it is time to get them into the ground.
You have prior to this cleared the area you want planted of all vegetation.
If not this is the first necessary step.
The seedlings need the sunlight to grow.
If they are shaded too much then it will stunt the growth.
Surrounding vegetation competes for the food.
Don't starve your young plants to death.
I like to use a tree bag to carry the seedlings in.
This keeps the roots from drying out.
It is important to the health and life of the tree to make sure that when you plant it that it will have a chance of life.
You can carry the seedlings along in your hand but not only will they dry out but it also is a possibility that you will lose some out.
Dropping them on the ground never to be seen again.
I use a shovel to dig a hole for the tree planting
I took a #2 shovel and narrowed it down to about 6inch in width.
I used a sawzall recip saw with a metal blade for this task.
A small angle grinder would work well also.
The shovel is made out of hard material so it is difficult to cut.
I like this setup a lot better than the narrow shovels that you can buy at the hardware store.
The long handle gives me more control and it has the added advantage of being just the correct height for me to lean on and take a break.
You can use what is known as a hoe dad.
The commercial tree planters use this instrument with good success.
I have used this and it does work well and perhaps this is what you need.
You can go to the following site to get more information on this type of planting equipment:
I normally space my seedlings at 10 or 12 foot centers.
I do not measure this off with a tape or anything of that nature.
I pace the distance off.
This measurement does not have to be too accurate.
Close is good enough in this case.
If the terrain is too rough or there is an obstacle in the way you can only estimate.
When I have a spot picked out I set the shovel point down and then step on the shovel.
This forces the shovel down into the ground all the way.
I then rock the shovel ahead making an opening of a couple of inches.
Holding the shovel forward I then grasp a seedling and stick it down in this opening.
Make sure that the roots are all in and not bunched up in a ball.
Remove the shovel making sure that when doing so you do not pull the seedling roots out of the opening.
After the shovel is removed take your foot with a boot on it and stomp down on the earth back towards the opening.
Hold the seedling up straight as you are doing this.
You want to make sure that you have the earth packed tight around the roots.
When and if the roots are exposed to the air they will dry out and die, killing the seedling.
You may be wondering what role the 3 or 4 foot stakes play in this tree planting project.
The area that you are now working in is clear of vegetation.
Move ahead in time a few months and then look at the same area.
You will observe that there is a lot of new vegetation growing in this same area.
The seedlings are so small that it is hard to make out where they are.
Thus the need for the stakes to mark where you have planted a tree.
After you have inserted the stake in the ground next to the seedling, take a piece of flagging tape about one foot in length and tie it to the upper end of the stake.
I like to use the fluorescent orange color tape.
It shows up nicely.
Now that you have the seedlings staked and flagged it is easy to tell where it was you planted the trees.
When you start to do the necessary chore of weeding your forestry garden you are less apt to whack down one of your precious seedlings.
It is a shame to go to all of the work to get them planted and then to destroy them.
So now that you have the tree planting done on your forestry garden it is time to watch them grow from a very small seedling into a productive tree.
You can take satisfaction in the realization that this was accomplished because of all of your sweat, effort and time.