Now’s time for tree planting

Helen Lang gives her thoughts on fall planting routines

Halloween is over, and living in a condo there were no faeries, pirates or goblins coming to the door. I miss the dear little people, hoping for candy or cookies or fruit. There was often a watchful parent at the end of the path. The older kids came later, but they were always polite.

One year I dressed up, and painted my face, and blackened a couple of front teeth, to answer the door, but the kids weren’t impressed. We did sort of surprise them one year in Prince George, though. I had given himself a bear rug for Christmas the year before, and we draped it over a saw-horse in the driveway, and turned the porch light out. We stood inside at a window waiting for shrieks of terror  but they were a wily bunch and simply walked past as though there wasn’t a grizzly standing there with his mouth wide open.

November. It can’t be! Just a minute ago it was summer, and now this. Stewart had to scrape frost off his windshield the other morning, so I guess the calendar is right, it is late fall, time to plant any deciduous trees, or evergreens for that matter.

When you put in trees they should be planted at the same depth as they were in their pot. If they are bare-root put them in a pail of water while you dig a hole twice as broad as the extended roots, and deep enough to cover all the roots with about a foot of soil. Mix a cup of bone meal into the earth that’s going back into the hole.  Spread the roots  out as evenly as possible over a mound of dirt in the bottom of the hole so that they will hold your tree not only upright, but straight up. Drive in a strong stake close to the trunk, then using wide strips of panty hose (or similar) tie your tree loosely to the stake. Fill the hole with soil, tamping it down as you spade it in. When finished, tramp firmly around it and then let a hose run slowly around the perimeter for about 10 minutes (or more) to make sure the roots are soaked.

From now on, nature should attend to the watering, but if it remains dry, water it thoroughly once a week until the rains do start. Sorry to be so bossy.


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