I was wondering if there are any state run programs offering saplings or young trees at discount for landowners?
Also, can you recommend any that would be good for year round privacy and that grow relatively quickly? Partial shade areas. I live in the Teatown area of the Croton Watershed. My property has a majority of existing Oaks, Maples and a few Spruce trees.
Saratoga Tree Nursery
has seedlings for sale every Spring. They are very reasonably priced, and have a wide variety of species available for purchase.
There are also Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) seedling sales. The closest one to you is the
. Their sale is also in the spring.
For the site conditions you described, you can go with eastern white pine, Norway spruce, white spruce, or northern white cedar (arborvitae). But the species would depend on the reason why you are planting these trees. What is the goal?
Deer pressure would also help determine the species. Based on your location, I'd say to only plant the arborvitae if you protect it from deer with fencing. The spruces can probably do alright on their own, or will at least fare better than the white pine. But when deer do eat evergreens, they tend to eat the leader off, meaning their height get stunted and their form gets damaged.
All of the above listed sources sell what is called bare-root stock, meaning the tree comes without soil. They should all come with instructions, but if not, you can use
this guide from the Arbor Day Foundation
This is a picture of a bare-root eastern white pine from the Meadowview Tree Farm. It was planted in 2011 and was 18" tall. This picture is from August 2015 and it is over 10 feet tall. Location is
Leonard Park in Mount Kisco
, right near the entrance along the pond. The deer pressure in this location is high. The deer heavily browsed every other shrub we planted, but they never ate the leaders of these white pine.
Thanks for the info.
With regards to my goal it is to ensure privacy year round in the future. Some of these trees will be planted under or near the canopies of full grown deciduous trees. There is NO deer protection whatsoever so I would want to go with what can thrive in partial shade and be as deer resistant as possible. I also live on a somewhat rocky lot so perhaps a tree that can survive with a relatively shallow root structure. From what I gathered from your response does that mean White Spruce or Norway Spruce are the best options for me in this situation?
Exactly, I would recommend going with Norway spruce and white spruce given your goal and the site conditions.
Since I am familiar with that area, I'll say that liming/fertilizing the trees might be a good idea. I've seen landowners in Yorktown do that for their white spruce trees. Here is a picture of bare-root white spruce trees planted in May 2010, and here is another picture of the same trees taken in the Fall of 2012. I believe these white spruce trees grew so well because they were taken care of by watering and liming or fertilizing when necessary.
Also consider spacing. It is very rare that all bare-root trees will live. Plan for some mortality. If planting a single row, then maybe go for 3-4 foot spacing. If you can stagger them with zigzags or do 2+ rows, then maybe do 4-6 spacing. And if they all survive, then maybe cut out a few of them to give more growing space to the ones doing the best.
We have never seen trees growing in evenly spaced rows in a natural forest. It is possible to plant mini forests of 20 trees, close enough together for root over-lapping, and leave space for light between the mini forests. This will allow lower branches to grow on trees, and allow roots to create tension -compression links between trees to prevent uprooting in winds. You can plant a diversity of trees together so that you will grow a diverse structure-short to tall. Berries and bushes can grow in the sun between the mini forests for wildlife food. Deer may rub the perimeter of the mini forest, and you can then thin out the damaged trees, placing their tops against the remaining tree trunks that need more protection. This will reduce the amount of plastic tree protectors. The wind will flow around the mini forests, stimulating them, and making them stronger, on a regular basis, so that when a hurricane hits, the mini-forest will be able to deflect it. There are some photos of mini-forests with English explanations on the wald-wissen website, in an article on "cluster afforestation".
The top photo looks like a small cluster, as previously described. The bottom photo shows a row of spruce. Which arrangement gives a buck the easiest access for rubbing over the first decade? -The bottom row leaves the trees more isolated with less impenetrable branching to deflect the bucks. It would be possible to plant more seedlings around the row to turn it into a more defensible cluster. Proper root pruning and planting depth-with the root collar visible-enables trees to grow optimal root systems to obtain the existing nutrients needed for the best top growth. The northeast tends to have very fertile soils. Fertilization at time of planting results in the best long term growth. More info is available from reforestation technologies, which supplies custom tea bags for each species and each site-dry to wet. Well grown and packaged bare root stock can be shipped ups from large nurseries in PA.
There is also Pikes Peak Nurseries in Pennsylvania, which continues to grow consistently great bare root seedlings and transplants, and ship them UPS , packaged with moist newspaper, resulting in excellent survival rates 95%-100%, if you take great care in handling, root pruning for optimal form, and planting with the wedge method-which preserves the soil horizons, preventing drying out of the soil. A tree planting shovel made for bare root stock helps to correctly plant bare roots.
Those fertilizers are placed uphill of seedlings and they help with initial growth. There are also mycorhizzae root dips that help. If the soil is fertile, there is no advantage to adding superfluous fertilizer. It is important that the DEC or any other nursery ship bare roots with moist packing material. one option is to buy a large quantity of small bare roots at a price break, place them in bed for 2 years, and then plant them when the weather is best for survival.