July 9, 2017
There’s nothing like planting a sapling. They’re so tiny, it’s almost unimaginable one day they’ll be towering trees. Trees with the ability to provide shade, a home to insects and animals and in some cases fruit to eat. From something so small to an integral part of our ecosystem, communicating with its kin through underground networks and providing oxygen for us to breath. Which, you know, is kind of important.
Devin and I try to plant a few trees every year out on the land. It’s our way of saying thank you to a place that gives us so much joy and doing our part in the battle against deforestation and other unsustainable practices. So, if you’ve never planted a tree – you really should! While larger trees can be tricky to work with, often requiring special equipment to get them into the ground, saplings like the one year old white spruce I purchased from the online store Tree Time are super easy to plant. Here is a general guideline on how to plant a sapling.
Pick a spot. Remember, saplings don’t stay sapling-sized forever. You need to give the little guy room to stretch out. Also take into account things like buried services and nearby power lines. Make sure the soil in the location isn’t too wet or too dry and that the tree will get enough sunshine.
Prepare the area. Remove any grass or weeds within a 12 inch diameter of where you’ll be planting the sapling.
Dig the hole. You usually only need a hole big enough to accommodate the root ball. Check on the label or with whomever sold it to you to learn about any special instructions. (Note that you could add fertilizer to the bottom of the hole, but if your tree is native to your area it should do just fine without it.)
Plant the sapling. Place the sapling in the hole. Make sure the stem is standing straight up and the top of the root ball is level or just below the top of the hole. Fill the hole with dirt and press firmly on the soil around the stem.
Water. Give the sapling a good drink, but don’t water so much that a lake forms around its base. Because a newly planted tree can take several seasons to become established, the soil at its base should be frequently checked.
Those of you who visit Of Houses and Trees regularly know that I had a subscription incentive where I offered to plant a tree in honour of everyone who subscribed during the month of June. (And at the request of several of my previous subscribers, I also planted a tree for each of them.) Recently, my family and I paid a visit to our land and fulfilled my promise. Our eldest was super into it (she’s such a little helper) and our baby was super into eating dirt, rocks and the saplings themselves.
Here’s a video of our tree planting extravaganza from my YouTube channel. Made all the more entertaining by my adorable children. As if watching people plant trees isn’t entertaining enough on it’s own…
Do you have any other tips on planting a sapling? Any good tree planting tales? My subscription incentive may be over (for now…), but you should subscribe anyway so you don’s miss any tree-lovin’ posts as well as posts on architecture, interior design, DIY projects, sustainability, home decor, crafts and gardening.