a tip for planting trees and shrubs in heavy clay

willy

Active Member
I am planting 1450 trees and shrubs next week in a crp project. The nrcs office gave me instructions that I had to rototill the rows for planting to make a better planting bed. I rented one and tilled last November. In my opinion one can't get it deep enough to what it should be for best results. So I checked out craigslist and found a one bottom plow. In December, I went back and plowed one way in the middle of the tilled area and then back the same way I came, over the plowed area.

I then plowed some areas the same way as above where I was going to plant some screens of cedar and miscanthus.

I transplanted cedars this past weekend and it was the easiest planting I have done on this farm. I wish I would have done this for the thousands I have planted in the past 10 years. The heavy clay, when I normally dug holes to plant was tough to dig and would stick together in chunks. It was just basically tough to break down to get air pockets out without smashing soil on the roots and compacted the soil in the process. The complete opposite was the experience this time. The freezing and thawing process made the soil crumble and I could put the spade into the ground with just my hands.

Next week my trees and shrubs come and I am using a 3pt tree planter for them and have high expectations for how it's going to go.
 

Mennoniteman

Well-Known Member
I am planting 1450 trees and shrubs next week in a crp project. The nrcs office gave me instructions that I had to rototill the rows for planting to make a better planting bed. I rented one and tilled last November. In my opinion one can't get it deep enough to what it should be for best results. So I checked out craigslist and found a one bottom plow. In December, I went back and plowed one way in the middle of the tilled area and then back the same way I came, over the plowed area.

I then plowed some areas the same way as above where I was going to plant some screens of cedar and miscanthus.

I transplanted cedars this past weekend and it was the easiest planting I have done on this farm. I wish I would have done this for the thousands I have planted in the past 10 years. The heavy clay, when I normally dug holes to plant was tough to dig and would stick together in chunks. It was just basically tough to break down to get air pockets out without smashing soil on the roots and compacted the soil in the process. The complete opposite was the experience this time. The freezing and thawing process made the soil crumble and I could put the spade into the ground with just my hands.

Next week my trees and shrubs come and I am using a 3pt tree planter for them and have high expectations for how it's going to go.
Good luck with what sounds like a very ambitious tree planting project. I appreciate the tip about using a one bottom plow for tree planting projects, I will keep it in mind for the future.
 

massey

Well-Known Member
Ummmmm. Between 1999 and 2001 we planted 3-4K trees using a one man gas powered auger in heavy clay and rock. My right hip was black and blue for a year. Must have walked by my one bottom plow a thousand times during that process. You’re telling me all I had to do was make a furrow with the plow? Where was this info 20 years ago and why am I so dumb??


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Native Hunter

Well-Known Member
Ummmmm. Between 1999 and 2001 we planted 3-4K trees using a one man gas powered auger in heavy clay and rock. My right hip was black and blue for a year. Must have walked by my one bottom plow a thousand times during that process. You’re telling me all I had to do was make a furrow with the plow? Where was this info 20 years ago and why am I so dumb??


Sent from my iPhone using Deer Hunter Forum

If only "Back to the Future" was real.............................
 

Drycreek

Well-Known Member
Ummmmm. Between 1999 and 2001 we planted 3-4K trees using a one man gas powered auger in heavy clay and rock. My right hip was black and blue for a year. Must have walked by my one bottom plow a thousand times during that process. You’re telling me all I had to do was make a furrow with the plow? Where was this info 20 years ago and why am I so dumb??


Sent from my iPhone using Deer Hunter Forum


It’s called not seeing the furrow for the holes, or something like that. o_O
 
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