Yesterday, dropped off on my driveway where 67 pine tree seedlings from my friend and OSR frequent visitor Jeff W. After planting over 400 pine tree seedlings himself, which is no small feat, Jeff not wanting to waste the rest knew I would plant the remainder. I had just got back from a walk with Fergie and my daughter and after looking at the seedlings realized they needed to be planted right a way. After a brief thank you call to Jeff and a short course on how he planted his pines I was ready to get at it.
Planting the seedlings at a 8″ depth is pretty much all you have to do. I found it worked well with a heavy round shovel, stepping straight down on the blade until the blade is completely below the soil level, then pushing the shovel forward and backwards to create a small opening. I then would turn the shovel around and repeat. This action creates an 8″ gap in the soil that the seedling drops into rather easily.
Once I dropped the seedling in I packed the soil around the root and pulled away any competing grass or weeds from the base of the seedling. The soil was moist starting at about 4″ down, today I came back and watered.
As I was watering I thought back when I was about 12 years old and how I use to rescue Cypress tree seedlings from empty lots that were days away from being cleared for more homes. At first my mom just kind of smiled, not much longer after that it became an obsession. I would mark seedlings in the lots that needed to be removed first. With shovel in hand and bucket I would remove the seedlings and then pot them up, giving them to anyone who would plant one in their yard. I planted many around my parents home, which I would often receive a phone call from my Dad saying, “you know that Cypress you planted in the front yard about 14 years ago, well I was up all night trying to strap it down in 40 mph winds.”
My Dad is a tree lover, I often joke with him that the reason we are both mediocre golfers is that we enjoy being off the short grass communing with the trees.
He in fact built an entire home and business around a tree which still stands today. I have many memories of my Dad and I planting everything from roses to grape vines. So thanks Jeff for the pine trees and the pleasure of being outdoors and reflecting on my much younger days, and as my friend Wyatt would say…reducing my carbon footprint.