Posted on October 29, 2014 @ 07:39:00 AM by Paul Meagher
I am down at my farm getting it ready for winter. One of my tasks is to do some final tree planting for the year. I planted apple trees, high bush blueberries and grape vines in the spring but the fall is also a good time to plant around here because we get good rainfall so the plants get watered in. Also, in the spring they will get water from snow melt and spring rains so again the trees gets watered in which is crucial for young trees that have been transplanted out to their final destination. When you plant in the fall, even though the leaves are now falling off the trees, the roots can still be growing and rooting into the soil.
Here is a picture of a wheel barrow with the trees I planted. On the left are 3 maple trees that will have nice bi-colored leaves, in the center are 8 sea buckthorn plants that I used to reinforce a windbreak (also edible berries, tea producing leaves, and nitrogen fixer), in the back are 3 hazelnut trees to add more variety to our mix of nut trees, and finally 2 raspberry bushes that I planted out amidst my group of berry producing shrubs.
My total investment was 80 dollars for these trees and shrubs. To me it seems like a good investment. Many of these trees and shrubs will produce edible fruit and nuts while the maple trees will add aesthetics and shade that are also important functions. All of them are experiments to see whether they will survive the winter months, the ravaging winds, the icy snow, the moles and the voles, and an excess of water during snow melt and spring rains. I am optimistic but would not be suprised to see carnage in the spring. Whatever the outcome I will have the opportunity in the spring to learn something about how nature works up here by setting up 16 experiments, one for each tree plant. That alone
is worth the 80 dollars I invested. I'll be profiting significantly from my investment if the trees grow and perform the various functions that I hope they will provide.
There is an element of patience in tree investing that is both frustrating and rewarding. It is frustrating because the payback period can take longer than you would like. You can pay more for an older and taller tree to shorten the payback period but I wanted more trees and tree variety so I went with younger trees. The longer payback period for
a tree can also be rewarding when you see your trees grow from young whips into mature fruit and nut bearing trees. Or, you could be substantially wiped out for a whole host of causes during the seemingly long time it takes for a tree to grow. I say "seemingly" because as I grow older the time involved to grow a tree seems a shorter span than when I
was younger. It is now a fraction of my age rather than a multiple.
In conclusion, I would like to encourage you all to consider investing in trees. There are a whole host of environmental reasons I could cite, but these are relatively far removed from some of educational, nutritional, and experiential reasons which I have tried to cite in this blog. A food forest or unique diversity of trees can also be legacy that can outlast your lifetime if designed in a way that remains valuable to future generations.
Late winter and very early spring is when I do most of my tree investing. From now on, fall will be the second time of year when I'll be making tree investments. Prices can be better in the fall as nurseries would rather move a good chunk of tree stock at a lower price than have to store it away for another year. There is also less demand.