Author Topic: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?  (Read 4482 times)

Offline lilukai

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150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« on: January 22, 2012, 03:10:20 PM »
Hi Y'all, I'm hoping for some bright and wonderful ideas.  (I know you guys have them!!)

I live in Kansas and our conservation department just opened up the ordering for the spring delivery.  DH and I are really into having a wooded homestead out here on the prairie, and were looking for a few trees of several varieties to fill some of our basic needs (food forest, firewood, windbreaks, wildlife forage).  Our conservation department has a wonderful selection at such low prices, we placed an order for the 6 varieties that we wanted most (red cedars, pea shrubs, arborvitae, paw paw, chinkapin oaks, American plum)

The only "problem" is that all trees come in lots of 25.  We have 1 acre for the main homestead, our zone 1 and 2 basically, and 9 more acres we can plant on.  Seeing as we only need about 50 of these trees actually around that 1 acre, the question I have is what to do with the other 100?  A few friends will surely take a few trees, but what do you do with 15 paw paw trees?

As stated, I have plenty of room to plant them!  However the dilemma of watering them this summer (we are expecting our first child in July when they will need watered most!)  is whats holding us back most. 

So the question is, what are some low cost diy irrigation options?  Some of these trees, if they all do get planted, will be 300+ feet from the nearest spigot.  I don't have a problem with buckets, but I think the doctors recommend against heavily pregnant women carrying heavy things in 100 degree heat.  I have watered the existing fruit trees we planted last fall using a large igloo cooler, a hose  and a four wheeler, but that also takes 1hr+ to water 10 trees.

So that's it.  How do you plant a forest cheaply and efficiently? 

Or does anyone want some free trees?  ;D


Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 03:13:13 PM »
I have no idea. but I am also expecting in July.  so that makes us kindred spirits!  ;D  welcome to the forum.

um, hugelculture?  um, drip lines?  being Kansas, I am guessing you do not have hills to run the water downhill to them.

Offline Cedar

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Re: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 03:46:15 PM »
the question I have is what to do with the other 100?  A few friends will surely take a few trees, but what do you do with 15 paw paw trees?

Plant them and let them take their chances?

Offer them for free on FreeCycle or the free section of CraigsList?

Offer them to a 4-H or other youth club as a fundraiser?

Offer them to a grange? http://www.nationalgrange.org/about/states/kansas.htm

Open a U-Pick or a PawPaw stand?

Start a farm market product with pawpaws for Saturday Markets? http://www.ksfarmersmarkets.org/

Let gleaners pick them. Or donate the trees to gleaners. If you let the gleaners take them, you can get a tax credit.

Wiki with pictures, nutritional info (better than bananas) and recipe for pawpaw lassi.
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Pawpaw

Another wiki with lots more info
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawpaw

There are 28 varieties. Here's info about six of them
http://www.petersonpawpaws.com/Products.php

AFFINITIES: Mint, citrus, pineapple, coconut, nuts, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, vanilla, milk, cream

USES.

- eat fresh: Cut them in half and scoop the flesh out, eat, spitting out large seeds or Open one end and squeeze flesh into your mouth

- Use in recipes with little or no heat since the volatile flavor compounds are destroyed by heating … the pawpaw is best suited to recipes that require little or no heat … ice cream, sorbet, smoothies, chiffon pies, mousse, etc

- That being said, supposedly they taste similar to bananas and can be used in banana bread recipes. It is sometimes called a Hoosier or prarie banana because of the taste.

- green pawpaws can be eaten as a vegetable. They make a good substitute for squash in a curry and are delicious in a salad.

SELECTING
- Size varies depending on variety and are between 5 ounces and 1 pound
- Look for a plump, round shape, similar to a mango
- Fragrant floral aroma
- Yield easily to the touch like a ripe avocado
- Skin turns lighter green, then yellow and develops brown blotches like a banana
- Flesh should be yellow and soft like custard.

STORING
Pawpaws are very perishable and ripe will only keep 2 days at room temperature. They keep a week in the fridge. Storing pawpaws at less than 40F is not recommended since it often changes the flavor, producing caramel-like notes.

PRESERVING

Freeze, don’t can when your pawpaw gets a little too ripe
http://missourifamilies.org/quick/foodsafetyqa/qafs355.htm

Freeze measured dollops of pureed pulp on waxed paper, then wrap each individually.

FESTIVAL AND SONG

Ohio PawPaw Festival
http://www.ohiopawpawfest.com/

"Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch."
http://www.scoutsongs.com/lyrics/pawpawpatch.html

RECIPES

Lots of recipes including pies, custards, cookies, cakes, quick breads, ice cream, pudding, preserves, jello, shake, Zabaglione, pineapple-pawpaw sherbet, punch,
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ksu-pawpaw/cooking.html

Pawpaw wine
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/pawpaw.asp

Spicy Autumn Pawpaw Cake with a Pawpaw Cream Cheese Frosting
http://www.ohiosaf.org/article.htm

Pawpaw chiffon pie
http://mdc.mo.gov/conmag/2002/08/10.htm

PAWPAW ICE CREAM, PAWPAW CREAM CAKE, PAWPAW MUFFINS
http://www.pawpaw.kysu.edu/pawpaw/recipes.htm

Makes me wanna go get a pawpaw tree??!?!? Can you ship?

Cedar

Offline lilukai

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Re: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 04:01:40 PM »
Thanks for the quick replies!

Morning Sunshine, it sure is different prepping for a new addition isn't it!  Throws all the plans out of whack. :)

My best thought right now is just a hose on a spool, drag it out to the farthest tree and reel it back in every 15 minutes or so.  High tech, right? :)  We do have a slope.. albeit a very flat slope.. :)  But it should be enough to make some gravity fed system work!

And I know what Id love to do with all the trees, you know its easy to make plans.  I'd set up the oaks to feed out hogs on acorns, the extra plums for the chickens, extra paw paws for the hogs and chickens...

And Paw Paws are delicious!  They grow wild around here and the last time I had one was 10+ years ago.  But its a flavor you can't forget, like your first wild strawberry!

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012, 01:15:23 AM »
Drip irrigation?   

I've seen the tubes just run on top of the ground.  How long would it take before the roots become established enough to do without irrigation during dry spells?  2 years?

~TG
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 01:29:08 AM by TexasGirl »

Offline bigbear

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Re: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 08:49:43 AM »
Build some swales just uphill from a tree/group of trees/row of trees (however you're laying it out) that will catch some rain water (and hose water) that will extend the available water for the trees.  But from what I understand, don't spoil your trees.  They ultimately need deep tap roots.

Some supplemental options: 
1: put in a storage shed at the top of you hill and put a water encatchment system on it. 
2: a bunch of barrels (with a faucet nozzle at the bottom) with wide mouth cones spaced down the hill to catch rain water.

Offline Roundabouts

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Re: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012, 01:52:56 PM »
Oh I would love to have some trees.  But I'm in WA.  I am sure some one would want them.  You could just plant and see what happens.  Using straw bales that have been soaked could really help with the irrigation part.  They are like giant sponges   and not that much $$. 

Offline cheryl1

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Re: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 02:12:00 PM »
It was a little pricey, but here's what we did. We bought heavy duty hose to reach to the first tree, then switched to drip hose running in a circle around each seedling. Turn the water on, let run for a couple hours, turn off. We left the hoses in place all summer, just scooted them to mow around.

Offline lilukai

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Re: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2012, 04:36:53 PM »
Cheap and easy is definitely the goal here.. Quality can go by the way side! :)

I'm thinking a combo of these ideas right now.  I have access to a bunch of free 2 gallon food grade buckets that I've been using for my other preps.  I can also get ahold of a few hundred feet of old, crappy hose.  What I'm thinking is drill a small drip hole in the bottom of each bucket, run hoses to each in series.  Put the buckets by the trees and use my rain barrel, washer hose, and/or public water (weather and laundry day dependent of course) to fill the first bucket, which will flow into the second, then into the third and so forth. 

Unfortunately I'm not a plumber so I'm not sure if all the buckets would get filled the way I want them to.  Id also have to worry about the cost of the connecting fittings, but I figure drill a hole, stick in a hose.  If it leaks a bit, most of it will be gray water and it will still be dripping into the plants root system.

BTW, LOVE the straw idea.  I already have some swales but we have a lot more digging to do.  I'm kind of trying to do drip irrigation without spending 300 bucks on drip irrigation tubing and fittings that will clog quickly b/c Id like to use graywater as much as possible.  I haven't ruled it out yet though!

Anyone have any thoughts on this idea?  I appreciate the feedback! :)

Offline ttubravesrock

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Re: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2012, 05:38:40 PM »
start growing bonsai trees.

Seriously, though... Trees grow into their environment, so if you planted them in pots around your house they would stay small.  Then over time you could add new trees to your forest, give them away as gifts, etc.

Three springs from now, you could teach your 2/3 year old about planting trees from the ones you pot now.

Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2012, 05:50:49 PM »
Well if you could get a bunch of free buckets and some tubing maybe you could rig something like the siphon system in this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4UYv4poHbM&feature=player_embedded


Offline Timeless Environments

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Re: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2012, 01:21:13 AM »
Hi Y'all, I'm hoping for some bright and wonderful ideas.  (I know you guys have them!!)

As stated, I have plenty of room to plant them!  However the dilemma of watering them this summer (we are expecting our first child in July when they will need watered most!)  is whats holding us back most. 

So the question is, what are some low cost diy irrigation options?  Some of these trees, if they all do get planted, will be 300+ feet from the nearest spigot.  I don't have a problem with buckets, but I think the doctors recommend against heavily pregnant women carrying heavy things in 100 degree heat.  I have watered the existing fruit trees we planted last fall using a large igloo cooler, a hose  and a four wheeler, but that also takes 1hr+ to water 10 trees.

So that's it.  How do you plant a forest cheaply and efficiently?    ;D

Hi Lilukai

My background is working with mycorrhizal networks on plant roots. Though the date of your post here is dated late January 2012, I'm hoping you or others may still find some benefit from my suggestion. I'm a huge believer in inoculating everything you plant with mycorrhizal fungal spores and beneficial bacteria since all landscape trees originally came from the wild anyway and that is exactly how nature takes care of it's own. It's really built right into all ecosystems no matter what part of the world they originate.

My last employment was in San Diego California as a landscape supervisor and head gardener with a property management firm. Southern California has a huge water issues problem. Of course looking for new water sources is always a challenge for them, transporting it there cost money and water rates make (FORCE) people to look for cheaper ways of maintaining their garden and landscape. More people there are turning to native plants which are more adapted to the area, but even still, any plants will work if you have the proper mycorrhizal network installed in the ground. Try even learning something about the trees/shrubs and what plant community ecosystem they associate with. Hence I'm also really big on designing and installing a landscape with plants which grow in the same plant community in nature or other plants closely associated to the same needs or requirements. I have three blogs, the one listed below where I try and illustrate just how the "Earth's Internet" (Plant Community Symbiosis network) which attempts at having fun with explaining complex sophisticated mechanisms found in nature which are otherwise overly intellectualized in the scientific literature.


You might check on the Net through Google for a bit of history on each plant and it's specific needs and also what companies over there in the USA offer not only a good mycorrhizal product, but be the best at explaining and advising you on just exactly what the best product is for your needs and not just trying to sell you something. If they are good at what they do, then they should have no problem at intelligently answering your questions. I have years of experience using mycorrhizae and like you, I have always wanted not so much a maintenance free landscape, as they all require a measure of care(that's why we like the hobby) anyway, but also ease of water and conservation without the huge costs in infrastructure, it's maintenace and time taxing needs involved.

Good luck with your project.

Offline lilukai

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Re: 150 Seedling Trees?? What did I get myself into?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2012, 08:13:57 PM »
Hi All,
Thanks so much for the posts!  Timeless Environments, thanks for the suggestion, Ive started that accidentally since it's morel season and a great season at that so just about every tree now at least has morel spores poured on them. :)  FrugalFannie, I'm trying that with the 4 trees closest to the house location, but I haven't needed to water to much so far so no results yet.  ttubravesrock, I had to do that out of necessity! 

I wanted to give an update, because this has been such a fun project.  Out of the 175 trees ordered, (yes I forgot a group of 25 in my original post!) 140 were given permanent homes over three acres.  10 more were potted up so if some of the windrow trees were trampled by the cows or otherwise didn't make it I would have replacements next year without the hassle of ordering them again.  Its way easier to get them to thrive if they are all close in age and height than if you try to fill a gap after they have grown in a bit.  Another 15 were given to friends and family, and by the time I was trying to decide what to do with the last 10 I had pretty much worn myself out and they got a little crispy to try and plant.

We accomplished this feat in one weekend, but we did cheat and use heavy equipment.  We had a bobcat and a backhoe on site for the construction of the house, so DH dug a total of 7 trenches around the property for the windrows and elderberry patch.  While I didn't think about it before hand this should help a lot with my watering dilemma since we have a high clay content in our soil and water stays in a trench for a long time. 5 of these trenches naturally fell on contour so they have swales.  The other two run perpendicular to the contour but we swaled every 4 trees or so (~25 feet). All of the oaks and fruit trees had their own individual holes dug via backhoe.

After that weekend of back breaking labor (we both literally could not stand straight for 2 days) it rained for 4 straight days.  Which was awesome until it didn't rain for 2 weeks, so my first watering chore began.  I quickly realized I couldn't gather enough hose from my various sources, and was about 25 feet short from watering any of the trees outside our fenced acre.  Since our local lumbar yard was closed, it was off to the Dollar General here in town to buy some cheap hoses.  This is where it got fun, because DG had 50 ft length of hoses for 8 bucks, and I had $5 coupons.  These of course are the worst hoses anyone would ever want, but after repurposing 50 wire hangers (which DH gets through his uniform service and they don't want to recycle apparently) and a box cutter, ALL the trenches now have their very own custom drip tubing.  Its not the prettiest, but it was cheap and it WORKS.

So now the watering is down to just the oak trees and the fruit trees near the house, which I feel a lot better about.  And it's raining today and for the next 3 days, so here's to a week off from worrying about watering!