How do I plant pine trees? How many years do they take to grow? How do I maintain them? Please help.
By Brenda from Butaleja, Uganda
It depends on what kind of pine tree you are planting. Some trees grow very slowly and take many years to mature and others grow rapidly.
We have planted shore pines which grow approximately eight inches per year. We have also planted ponderosas which grow anywhere from one to two feet per year.
Pine trees need lots of room to grow. They also need to be in a location where there is a constant supply of water and really good drainage.
If you are growing from a seed, start with a pot and some regular potting soil. When the tree is about a foot high, it can be transplanted into the ground. You need to dig a hole about six to eight inches bigger than the root ball, and loosen all the soil around the hole. Then set the tree into the hole and put the dirt back into the hole. Water the dirt as you go, so that there are no air pockets around the roots. After you have put all the dirt back into the hole, make a ring about three feet bigger than the base of the tree and remove all the sod from the ring. Add mulch to the ring to help improve the soil's abillity to hold water.
then watch your little tree grow. Water about once every two weeks in the spring and fall, once a week in the summer, and not at all in the winter. Make sure that when you water, you saturate the soil.
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I am looking for information on planting pine trees.
Check with your county extension office, they will provide you with all the information you need for your area. They may even run a soil test for you to help you grown health trees. (04/22/2007)
Here is one tip I do when planting any kind of tree. When I buy a tree or shrub, I take it out of the container, dig the hole for the tree and also dig the hole big enough on one side to insert the container. The container is buried beside the tree and when it comes time to water just fill the container and you will be sure the roots of the new tree will get plenty of water. After a season and the tree is doing well, just pull the container out or fill with soil. (04/23/2007)
I recently took a class on planting trees and the best advice I got was this: When digging the hole, convert the width of the trunk in inches to the number of feet wide the hole should be. For example, a tree with a 3 inch trunk should have a 3 foot wide hole. The edges should slope down toward the bottom gently to encourage water to collect at the base. Also, make sure that you keep all dirt and mulch away from the trunk. Sometimes nurseries will actually overfill the containers and burlap balls so that the trunk is partially buried. If you pile mulch up against the trunk, it will rot. Oh, and if you live in a region where it snows a lot and plan on putting it near the road, you should shield it in the winter against all the snow plows and salt with a fence of burlap or some other material. Good luck! (04/25/2007)