Tips Tree Planting: The Art of Seedling Planting

Have you ever wondered what a seedling planting is? Well, let us introduce you to the art of growing young trees. A seedling is a young tree that is less than three feet tall. Seedling tree planting involves using these young trees to create beautiful landscapes. Unlike planting larger, balled and burlap trees, seedling plantings are preferred when large areas need to be forested, such as in creating a riparian forest buffer. This method involves planting a greater number of seedlings, as not all of them are expected to survive.

Why Should You Plant Seedling Trees?

Planting trees offers numerous benefits to both humans and the environment. Trees provide cooling shade in the summer, reducing energy costs, and act as windbreaks in the winter, reducing heating costs. They also improve air quality, store carbon, and reduce noise levels.

At Tips Tree Planting, we believe in the power of trees to improve watershed health. Planting trees can help reduce soil erosion, runoff, flooding, and non-point source pollution. Additionally, trees recharge groundwater and sustain stream flow.

During rainfall events, trees act as mini-reservoirs, capturing and storing rainwater on their leaves and branches. By trapping rainfall, the water never leaves the site and cannot become runoff that picks up pollutants. Instead, the water slowly percolates into the ground, recharging the groundwater and helping sustain stream flow during dry periods. Trees also stabilize stream banks, reducing erosion, and provide food and shelter for fish and wildlife.

Developing Your Goals and Budget

Before embarking on a seedling planting project, it’s important to define your goals and budget. Dream big and come up with a well-thought-out project that aligns with your goals. This will help determine funding sources and convince potential funders of the merit of your project. Remember to modify your project to fit the realities of your budget.

While seedling trees themselves are not expensive, proper maintenance of the plants and planting site before and after planting can require time and money. It’s crucial to have a plan for the care of your seedlings to ensure their survival and the success of your forest.

Timeline for a Seedling Planting Event

Planting seedlings may seem straightforward, but there are a few crucial steps that must be taken before and after the actual planting. The best time to plant seedlings is in the spring or fall, depending on the species and your location’s climate. Freezing weather greatly reduces the chances of seedling survival, so avoid planting during freezing weather or into frozen ground. Hot weather may also reduce seedling survival.

Here’s a general timeline for a seedling planting event:

  1. At least two months in advance: Determine the appropriate location(s) for your planting.
  2. At least two months in advance: Obtain written permission from the local government or landowner to plant on the site.
  3. At least two months in advance: Determine the appropriate trees for the planting and make arrangements for their care after planting.
  4. At least one month in advance: Clear the planting area of brush and weeds, and establish low-growing ground cover if possible.
  5. At least one month in advance: Secure a reliable source for seedlings and make arrangements for their delivery.
  6. One month to one week in advance: Advertise the tree planting event through various outlets.
  7. Several days before the event: Purchase any necessary supplies.
  8. Days before the event: Create and print instruction sheets for volunteers.
  9. Day before or day of the event: Deliver seedlings, materials, and tools to the planting site.
  10. Host the seedling planting event.
  11. Post event: Maintain the planted seedlings.

Preparation and Tree Selection

Before planting, it’s crucial to prepare the site and carefully select the right trees for your project. Start by examining the site and understanding its characteristics. Consider the size of the area, existing infrastructure, light conditions, topography, and soil quality. This information will guide your tree selection process.

Consult your local forest extension agent or nursery for advice on which trees are suitable for your specific conditions. In most cases, choosing native trees is the best option for a successful project.

Advertising Your Seedling Planting Project

To ensure the success of your seedling planting event, it’s essential to promote it effectively. There are various ways to advertise your project, and a combination of techniques usually works best. Consider the following options:

  • Create and distribute door hangers in the targeted neighborhood where you’ll be working.
  • Write and distribute a press release to local newspapers, radio stations, and television stations.
  • Create flyers and place them in public libraries, recreation centers, and walking trails.
  • Develop a dedicated website or add information to an existing website.
  • Implement a social media campaign strategy.
  • Run advertisements in local papers or on radio and television stations.
  • Discuss the event at community association, church group, youth group, and service organization meetings.
  • Advertise the event on free online environmental calendars.
  • Send emails to interested individuals and ask them to spread the word.
  • Consider a mass mailing to reach your target audience.

Hosting a Seedling Planting Event

Hosting a successful seedling planting event requires careful preparation and organization. Here’s a checklist to help you plan:

  • Make sure you have enough equipment for your volunteer teams.
  • Have written permission from the local landowner or government.
  • Provide refreshments and snacks if possible, or at least provide water.
  • Set up a sign-in sheet.
  • Prepare planting instructions, diagrams, and any necessary equipment for each team.
  • Identify key volunteers to act as team leaders.
  • Create a press packet for media coverage.
  • Contact local newspapers to encourage coverage.
  • Designate a volunteer to take photos of the event.

On the day of the event, divide your volunteers into teams led by the designated team leaders. These leaders will guide the volunteers and ensure the plantings are done correctly.

Post-Planting Care

To ensure the success of your seedling plantings, proper maintenance is crucial for at least two years after planting. It’s important to have a maintenance agreement in place before planting and to assign someone to care for the trees. This may involve watering, mulching, and weed control.

Watering: Each seedling should be watered with one to two gallons of water at planting time. For the following months, check the soil moisture periodically by digging near the plant. Mulching is recommended to conserve water.

Mulching: Apply mulch around each seedling to reduce weed competition and water loss from the soil. Mulch allows rainfall to reach the soil while reducing weed growth and promoting oxygen exchange.

Weed Control: Eliminate weeds within at least a two-foot radius around each seedling. This can be achieved through mulching, hand-pulling, mowing (while avoiding the seedling), hoeing, or using herbicides. Take care to protect the seedling from herbicide spray.

At Tips Tree Planting, we believe in the power of seedling planting to create thriving forests and improve our environment. By following these tips and guidelines, you can embark on your own seedling planting project and contribute to a greener future.

For more information and expert advice on tree planting, visit Tips Tree Planting today!