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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

There's still time for trees!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bare root trees are being shipped and picked up from the DNR State Tree Nursery's now.

If you were wondering if you were too late, you are not!

Vallonia Nursery staff recently stated there is still time to order by phone with a credit card and have trees UPS shipped if prior to April 10.

Selection is still good this year for all hardwoods. Shrubs are sold out as hot dry weather caused some loss of nursery stock last summer. Mail orders are accepted as well as over-the-counter sales at the two state nurseries of Jasper-Pulaski (219-843-4827) in directions and other location information.

Also on the website is information about species and tips for planting trees. If you don't have Internet access, call or stop by the Extension office (Clay County 448-9041 or Owen County 812-829-5020) and get yourself fixed up with the information you need. Trees are great for windbreaks and developing wildlife areas or corridors in addition to being an asset for the future.

The minimum order is 100 trees of any given species. With a broad selection still remaining, you should be able to match a species with your soil type. This is a very economical method for getting tree planting started whether you are planting a large acreage or have a small plot of only a few acres. A grid spacing of 8' by 8' is good with alternating evergreen and hardwoods growing upward while minimizing low lateral branching. When selecting trees it is of utmost importance to know your soil. Some species like bald cypress and swamp white oak can survive during periods of standing water. Many trees though, like red oak, sugar maple, tulip popular and ash do not tolerate wet soils. When planted in unsuitable soil, these trees will grow very little and likely not survive. This is one of the most common errors when planting trees. Soils with an overall gray color or heavily laden with gray spots or blotches would be soils with internal drainage problems. If one is interested in an evergreen, I often suggest the Norway spruce in the Clay and Owen county areas, which are able to withstand the tight and typically wet soils in the area better than pines. For areas that are very wet, I suggest the bald cypress, which can grow in standing water. Bald cypress can grow in better drained soils also where they will grow more rapidly. They are beautiful trees.

A common mistake involves planting trees. The appropriate depth and also not j-rooting the tree when planting with a tree bar or shovel is crucial for success. Fertilizer should not be added when planting as that will encourage weed or other vegetative competition with the newly planted trees. Weed control is also critical during the first few years of a tree planting to allow the trees to get a competitive advantage.

Trees don't grow up quickly. However, please take into account power lines, septic fields and distance from buildings. This can become a point of consternation in future years of not thought out now. Again, the resources listed above the discussed tree spread and height information that should be considered.

The CD-ROM titled "Trees of Indiana" is a great resource in the Extension Office for a cost of $25. The resource is great for teachers, natural resource group leaders or the outdoor enthusiast. The leaf, bud, arrangement, flower, fruit, young/old bark, range and more are pictorially exhibited for nearly 120 trees found in Indiana.

You can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 829-5020 Ext. 14 in Owen County or 448-9041 in Clay County for more information or publication copies regarding this week's column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs.