Spring Christmas Tree Planting at Stokoe Farms

Two year old Fraser Fir with Phytophthora

Two year old Fraser Fir with Phytophthora

This unusually wet 2011 Spring turned out to be a good year to try a new planting technique with our Fraser fir transplants. Fraser fir trees do not like to have “wet feet”, that is they do not grow well in wet soil and can be susceptible to a fungal root disease called Phytophthora, causing the transplant to die. So to remedy this many farmers create ridges in these marginal fields to help increase drainage and move excess water away from the root system.

To test this planting technique we borrowed equipment from our friends near Ithaca, Richard and Kaye Moore. The plow makes the ridge and then the roller packs and forms the planting bed. Larry created the ridges last Fall and we planted the trees on them this past week.Plow to make the ridgeRoller to form the ridge

   The last of our transplants arrived on Friday from a Christmas tree nursery in Quebec Canada. They are a Fraser Balsam cross that is proposed to be faster growing and will tolerate more soil variety then the Fraser. We also planted traditional Fraser, Douglas, Concolor, and a few Grand Firs over the past two weeks on those occasional dry days.

With planting behind us, Larry is busy with weed control and fertilizing. The warming weather means buds will be breaking on the new growth and we will have to be on the look out for harmful insects.

Happy planting to everyone  working in their flower beds and preparing your garden!

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