Monday, May 13, 2013

"I'm coffee, you're nuts!"

That's what I heard Rachel say to Arik as I ventured over to snap some photos of the planting project. No, Arik hasn't lost his mind (but he might by the end of this?); they're tag-teaming getting over 800 Black walnut, Kentucky coffee and White spruce in the ground.

Those aren't twigs! They're 3-year old Black walnut and Kentucky coffee trees.

A few sunny and warm days helped dry up the soil and created optimal planting conditions. Arik and Rachel have quite the system at getting the trees in the ground!

First, they stake a string in a straight line to use as a guide for planting (rows are spaced 12 feet apart). The string has knots every 9 feet to mark where to put a tree. 

Arik uses a planting bar to make a hole at every other knot; Rachel follows behind, planting a spruce in the hole. 
Planting teamwork!
Then, they use spades to plant a hardwood at the remaining knots, alternating between coffee and walnut. (Hence the title to this post -- Rachel was planting coffee, Arik was in charge of walnut.) 

Coffee tree root ball.
The soil at this site is deep and rich. All three species will do exceptionally well here! We got the hardwoods from Iawisil Nursery; extremely good quality and worth the wait - we had hoped to have these trees to plant back in April for our Earth Day celebration, but they were still frozen in the ground. 

This field will soon hold over 600 trees!
What have others been planting this spring? 

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