Jones Farmers have spent the week planting thousands of baby christmas trees in our nurseries. These seedlings will spend 1 to 3 years living comfortably in close quarters with their peers before being transplanted into one of our many tree fields, where they must learn to deal with grasses and grubs. We can plant these seedlings either individually by hand or by using a special machine attached to a tractor and a team of farmers. Today as we planted in the Mailbox Nursery, we opted for the first method because the stone walls and sloping land make it more difficult to turn a tractor in the small space.
Planters kneel on pads to help protect both their knees and the soil beneath. If soil gets compressed it loses the air pockets that are so important for earthworm tunnels, root growth, and water collection. We use string and notched boards to make sure that the seedlings are planted in straight, evenly spaced rows. After lining up a row our farmers use a trowel to dig a small hole, place the young tree in the soil, fill in the hole, and press firmly to secure the plant. These seedlings will spend their first few years on the farm growing strong in the fertile soil of the tree nursery before they are ready to take on a tougher life in the tree fields. Check back tomorrow to learn how we plant seedlings in our Valley nursery using a tractor!