Preparation of site for planting all trees

The best practice in any planting is to do a physcially lay out of the project.  Whether it is for a few trees or acres of orchards.

Preparation will entail soil samples to determine the health of the soil.

Drainage - This is problably the second most important aspect of establishing any area for planting to ensure the successful survival of any tree planting.  Soil texture is important, but good practice in drainage will overcome most problems.  I use, and recommend surface drainage (surface ditches) as the best resource to accomplish this.  With surface drainage you are removing only the surface water and leaving the water table at a natural water level to insure healthy root system development of the trees.  I only recommend tile drainage except in drastic situations, in otherwords as a last resort.  Tile drainage is very expensive and has several drawbacks.  It lowers the natural water table for the land affected.  In excessive dry seasons causes extreme stress on trees, even to the point of death.  Expensive irrigation  systems may be needed to alleviate the lack of natural water levels.  These are 2 of many drawbacks for this type of drainage.  Others are important, but these 2 are the best examples.

Irrigation   I recommend a simple inexpensive irrigation system.  A good source of natural water (not city with it's additives) is a necessity.  Pond water is my source.  My system consists of a pump and a quantity of 1" black plastic hose completes the system.  The black plastic draws the heat from the surrounding atmosphere and discharges it at near 100- 110 degrees F. for the root systems and promotes rapid new growth to all parts of the tree. I will mention that after planting the trees., the weeds are allowed to grow around the trees for the next two years to help to conserve water for the root system.  The weeds or other orchard grasses protect the soil from evaporation during the day and gather moisture from dew during the night which trickles down to the root system to ensure healthy growth of roots and other parts of trees.  Letting nature take care of irrigation.  We do not use herbicides and protecting  the environment.   For more information about the system please contact me and will be happy to share my plans with you on how to irrigate your planting of trees without an expensive irrigation system. Let us keep it simple!

Planting and cultural requirements for EDIBLE NUT PINES, OTHER NUT TREES, HYBRID OAKS, MINOR FRUITS, RARE, & UNUSUAL TREES & SHRUBS, are precise, but with a a little patience they can be established and maintained quite easily.  They are divided into categories as listed below. Our secret is the development of a special inoculate (mycorrhizal fungi) which enables the trees feeder roots to absorb nutrients from the soil and the trees are able to grow faster, more immune to diseases, and produce at an early age. This inoculant is composed of natural organic materials.

Before the trees arrive or are picked up, one should have made a plan for planting, and have the holes dug. All of the trees we ship require that the hole dug for the roots be at least 12 inches in diameter and 12" deep.  The ideal situation is to be ready to plant the trees as soon as they arrive or are picked up from the nursery, but as this is not always possible, I instruct our customers to do the following, to prevent any loss of trees. After the trees arrive, the container should be opened and checked to be sure the packaging material (we use shredded newspaper as it holds moisture very well, also the ink acts as a disinfectant around the roots) has adequate moisture. If it seems to be drying, then add some water to the packaging material and store in a cool dry area until you are ready to plant. If this is not possible, then one could ‘heal’ the trees in the ground. Note: if healing in, make sure that the roots are well watered. This should apply to nursery stock picked up from the nursery as well.    NOTE:  Some of our larger size of trees have to be bent to fit into the shipping container.  As the trees are dormant when this is done, it will not damage the trees.   Upon arrival simply straighten the trees out and handle as normal.

Once you are ready to plant the trees, it is very important to keep the roots from exposure to the sun or wind to prevent them from drying out. We use a ‘Water Gel’ which we mix with water in a container. The tree roots are placed in the container and this gel sticks to roots and the tree can be placed in pre dug hole with the gel still on the roots. The gel will help hold moisture around the roots in dry spells. This gel is available from most co-op stores.


Our inoculant consists of natural ingredients which promotes Mycorrhizal colonization.  High rates of ammonium nitrogen and phosphorous retards the growth of this fungi.  We do not recommend addition of any type of fertilizer mixed with the ground at planting time.  Use two applications of a water soluble solution of 10-10-10 three weeks apart up to July 15 in the first year.  Commencing the second year and following years use natural fertilizer, well decayed manure is satisfactory.. Adjust amount accordingly as trees mature.  Whether using natural  fertilizer keep at least 8 inches from the base of the tree.  With our inoculant they form threads called hyphae in the soil.  They absorb minerals and makes them available to the tree.  In return, the trees provides the fungi with a place to live and supplies them with sugars and amino acids.  One can observe whether the tree is healthy and putting on at least 3 inches and upward of new growth each year.  Do not apply fertilizer after the second week of July, as the trees may not harden properly for winter. 

Edible Nut Pines

Planting the tree is quite simple.  Take our inoculant and mix it with the soil at a ratio of 25% inoculant and 75% soil, mix it quite thoroughly.  Then place a handful of inoculant in the bottom of the hole.  Use some inoculant to mulch the ground around the tree.  Water well after planting.  Control of weeds around the trees is not necessary for the first 2 years.  The weeds or other source of orchard cover is beneficial for the survival of the freshly planted trees.  This cover protects the ground from drying out during the day.  At night it gathers the moisture which finds it way back to the earth to keep the roots supplied with moisture.   This is beneficial not only to the trees, but the enviroment.  We do not use any chemicals to control weeds.

Spacing of the trees vary with the type and age of trees.  Korean Pine, Siberian Pine, Swiss Stone Pine, Sugar Pine, Macedonian Pine and Russian Cedar should be spaced 20 feet apart.  (Note: Planting may be closer - up to 10 feet apart to get early production, then either remove with a tree spade to enlarge orchard, or cull out when they start to overcrowd).  Dwarf Siberian Pine should be planted 10 feet apart.  Allow 20 feet between rows.

Pines do prefer a light type of soil with good drainage.  The Swiss Stone pine will grow in pure clay as in its native habitat.  Exception is the   Pinus siberica f. turfosa - it will grow in wet damp area, preferring some peat moss.

The Pines in the fall, lose some of their needles, (this is natural) and these needles will provide a natural mulch.  After several years the labour intensity required for these trees will be minimum.   

Protection from rodents should be provided for the first 2-4 years.  A physical barrier which is essential fro protection for the trees survival.  We recommend a spiral tree guard which is readily available at most co-op stores.  They are reasonably priced and expand with the growth of the tree trunk.

Edible Nut Trees, Minor Fruits, Oak & Rare, & Unusual Trees, & Shrubs

We recommend that you use a 50% inoculant well mixed with a 50% soil mixture before putting this in the hole around the roots of the tree. Make sure that the tree is well watered after planting. Pruning of the deciduous tree is recommended as this compensates for the loss of some of the root system when trees are dug. Control of weeds around the tree for the first couple of years is desirable to keep the competition down. We do not recommend herbicides, because it will defeat the purpose of the inoculant (Mycorrhizal fungi) - it will kill it. Use of a mulch is highly recommended.

Spacing of trees vary with the types of trees planted. Butternut, hickory, tree hazels, & chestnuts will be planted 20 feet apart. Black walnut, heartnut, Persian walnut, & Pecan will be planted 25 feet apart. Hazels (bush type) will be planted at 10 feet intervals. Spacing for the minor fruits - paw paw, persimmon are 15 feet.  Beach plum, chinese dogwood, Sea Buckthorn & Elderberry will be 15 feet.  Apple 20 feet.  Oak trees 25 feet, Ornamental trees are normally spaced 20 feet apart.

One of the most important aspects to planting nut trees is good drainage, soil types do have some bearing, but most will do well on different types of soils. 

Fertilize the trees the first year with a water soluble 10-10-10 solution applied up and to the middle of July. Do not apply any later or the trees will not have time to harden off for the winter. 2nd year and thereafter apply a natural fertilizer, (Liquid seaweed sprayed on several times a year, or other natural fertilizer. Use of a water soluble fertilizer is preferred as some commercial granular fertilizers interact with the inoculant and the mycorrhizal fungi will be destroyed. Applications of ammonium nitrogen and phosphorous will retard the colonization of the mycorrhizal fungi. Levels should be below 10 mg. P/liter.

Protection from rodents should be provided for the trees. A physical barrier which is essential for their survival is essential. We recomend a spiral tree guard (plastic) which is readily available from most co-op outlet.  They are very inexpensive and last for many years as they expand with the growth of the tree trunk.

Trees require little spraying. We apply a dormant spray only as required. No other spray is needed. Caterpillars are our only problem and these are quite easily controlled without spray. We physically remove them and it takes very little time. By removing debris disease may be minimized.