Trees and more Trees

The day has finally arrived! We ordered 170 bare root trees from the Arbor Day Foundation and they’re here on schedule. While that sounds like a lot of trees to plant, it was made easier because they are dormant and only about 18 – 24″ tall.

The trees are shipped while dormant. Wisconsin typically experiences its first frost in and around October or November, so our ship date was mid-November.
The trees are bound and kept together with twine to section off each different variety. Their roots are wrapped in packing material to keep them moist while traveling.
The next step after removing the packing material, is to gently untangle the roots and allow them to soak for three to six hours in a bath of water. This allows the tree to take up moisture through its roots in preparation for planting.
Here they are getting a nice soak in our kitchen sink. We used thermos containers to do this. *Note: Once this step is completed, even exposing the roots to a few minutes of air can compromise the health of the young tree.
Here they are after six hours of soaking. The next step is to plant. We kept the trees in their water baths as we walked around our woods until we were ready to plant. Having in them in a thermos provided an easy transportation method.
Here is the first one we planted. In addition to purchasing trees, we also bought these guys. They are pyramidal arborvitae which will grow into a privacy screen along our lot line.

When digging a hole, it’s important to dig wider than what seems necessary as the root system will grow outward and will travel easier through aerated soil. The Arbor Day Foundation will provide all of these instructions once your plants arrive so no worries.

Here’s a reference picture comparing the shovel with the tree’s root system so you can understand the size perspective.

“Plant the tree just deep enough to barely cover the root collar (the uppermost point at which the roots grow out of the trunk), keeping plenty of room for the roots to spread. This is a critical factor for survival and growth. Ensure the tree is not planted deeper that the surrounding soil.”

Did you know that trees draw in oxygen through their trunk and roots?

The final steps include shoveling in the remaining soil, watering the tree, and applying mulch material around the base of the tree to create a protective barrier and hold in moisture. Keep mulch away from touching the trunk of the tree. Follow up the following year with watering every 7-10 days especially during dry periods.

We hope you explore the option of bare root planting as it’s an easy way to get your woodland area established. For more information as to how to find this resource, please visit the Arbor Day Foundation site at:

person wearing pair of black boots
           Song for Autumn 
Don't you imagine the leaves dream now
   how comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
   nothingness of the air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don't you think
   the trees, especially those with 
mossy hollows, are beginning to look for

the birds that will come - six, a dozen - to sleep 
   inside their bodies? And don't you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
   the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
   stiffens and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
   its long blue shadows. The wind wags
its many tails. And in the evening
   the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
             Mary Oliver

2 thoughts on “Trees and more Trees

  1. Great blog!

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