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Spring 2000:

April 28 through April 30, 2000.

  • 5000 Red Pine (2-0)
  • 3000 White Pine (2-0)
  • 500 White Spruce (2-0)
  • 3800 Red Oak (1-0) from DNR
  • 1000 Red Oak (2-0) from personal nursery.

Roland picked up these trees on Thursday (27 July) because we couldn't get away until Friday morning. After seeing the number of boxes he said;"We need more land!" This was nearly 14,000 trees!!! What was i thinking last fall when I ordered these?

This year we rented a mounted planter ( mounted 3-point hitch model). I think the big green planter, that we used last year, was unavailable for some reason.

Planting Crew
One of many planting crews that day.

This planter didn't do nearly as good a job and we often had to add weight (Lance standing on planter) to make it dig in at all. And the closer wheels didn't do a very good job and we had to walk behind to heal in plants in many places. No the soil was not dry or hard - actually we were planting some of the richest silt/loam soil on the farm (which led to other problems which manafested in following years.).

(In this picture I am driving, David is planting and Lance is being a weight.)

We had probably our largest crew of any year on this first day of planting. Roland's family, Roland's daughter's family, My whole family, David and Carrie, Win and Terry, and Lisa.

Planting Crew
Another crew.

We switched off jobs during the day. Nearly everyone got a chance to plant, drive, weigh in, and walk behind checking for misses. Here it's Jordan, Roland, Debi, and Lance (left to right).

Planting Crew
Sorting and trimming roots

When you order this many trees from the DNR nurseries, they don't sort out the runts when they dig them from the nursery beds. We are required to do this to insure that we don't plant those that are deficient in some way.

We also are instructed to trim the tips off the roots to keep them from folding back up on themselves during planting. This leads to a condition called "J" root by which the tree root will curl up upon itself as it grows and will eventually strangle itself and die.

Planting Crew
Sorting and trimming roots

Planting Crew
Planting some more

Lance is planting as we have finished the bottom field (~8 acres) and are starting the back field (behind the barn).

As you see, there is only one person planting - with this planter. He has two trays and we have hardwoods in one and pine in the other. We don't fill the trays full for fear of having the seedlings exposed to the drying effects of sun and wind before we get them in the ground.

Planting Crew
Keeping seedlings with us and wet.

We carry some reserves in the tractor buchet so we can re-fill the trays when we run out.

Planting Crew
Lunch Time

We all needed a break by lunch time. It's time to feed the crew.

Day 2 of planting.

The second day it was just my family: Debi, Lance, Jordan and me. We worked the whole day - it stopped being fun and became quite tedious but we pressed on even as it started to rain. We finally got the last tree planted. We were soaking wet and covered with mud but the trees were in the ground. Never again would I order this many trees for one year. ( The consensus, at the time, was for me to never order another tree.)

Letter from Roland, Sept 11, 2000:

More pictures and notes will follow as soon as I have time ...

[Continue to next year...]