If you caught my stories last week then you saw we had 400 seedling and transplant evergreen trees delivered to our home. In case you’re really far behind, or new around here (welcome!), we are in the process of doing a full home renovation and getting our 28 acres of land situated. We already have about 100 full grown trees but we knew going into all of this we wanted to plant even more Christmas trees and eventually build a barn and get some animals later on down the road.
Sometimes I question if we’re completely nuts, but regardless, one thing I do know is, we’re complete amateurs here. This is our first go-round with planting this amount, of anything. The good thing is, it wasn’t as overwhelming as I thought it would be. We did have some extra helping hands from our neighbors which ended up being a great blessing. I get a little ambitious at times, but planting trees with a baby in a baby carrier isn’t the easiest thing to do.
If you remember, Christmas trees were always something we had in mind when we started the long and rigorous process of looking for a house. It’s not every day a property hits the market with trees already on it, a good amount of land, and a house that’s workable for your family. When everything falls into place you just know it’s meant to be.
Like most crops, there’s a certain window for planting and getting everything set. That’s no different with evergreen trees and we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss it. We actually looked a little late (we’re learning a lot as we go) because some of the trees we wanted were already sold out for the season. You can order trees as early as fall but they won’t ship until April. Thankfully we were still able to get some great trees. We went with Colorado Blue Spruce, Balsam, and Douglas Firs to kick off our first round of planting.
We had no idea how these things were going to arrive. When you think 400 trees you think, wow that’s a lot, at least for us we thought so. We didn’t know if they would come on a flatbed, individually packaged, who knew. We did know the transplants would be between 12-24 inches in height and the seedlings would only be a few inches. After you really think about their size, 400 doesn’t seem so bad when they’re tiny. When they arrived they were in regular brown boxes and wrapped in plastic to keep their roots from drying out. These trees made the trip from Michigan and we ordered through NurseryMen.com. When I first laid eyes on them, I was kind of shocked. 400 trees fit in three boxes. Like how?! But they did. And they were ready for planting.
Since the delivery arrived later on in the day, we weren’t able to plant them right away. The shipment came with a sheet that gave a lot of great information and different pointers for planting your trees. We soaked the roots in water so they didn’t dry out until we were able to get them in the ground. And yes, that’s 100 seedlings fitting into my glass pitcher.
Let’s talk about crowded spaces for a minute. You know when there’s that awkward person that just stands a little too close to you? Like when you get into an elevator and there’s only you and one other person, and that person stands righttt next to you. This may or
may not have happened to me on Monday. I mean, let me have a little space, please. Anyway, I could go on a continued tangent about this and so many other odd scenarios that have happened to me. I have to envision this is how my trees feel that are already on the property. Why is that you say? Well here’s a little tidbit about evergreen trees. Each tree should be planted about 8 feet apart to allow them to grow properly. The ones that are fully grown already were only planted 6 feet apart by the previous owners. We wanted to make sure these new ones have ample space to grow. We took some string to make sure the rows were straight and started from one end to the other. Eric cut a piece of wood that was 8 feet long so we could use that as a marker and not have to actually take out a tape measure each time. Once we had the right space identified we spray painted the spot with a circle so we knew that’s where the tree would go.
So here’s what I was thinking when I envisioned planting 400 trees…we’d be out there with shovels, digging holes all around, I’d have my gardening gloves on and my rain boots, and then we’d end up packing the dirt back in the holes once the trees went in. Little did I know that’s not exactly how you plant these trees. If you saw my insta stories then you might have caught my videos showing things more in detail. When you plant a Christmas tree, you don’t actually dig a hole like a traditional plant. Instead, you make a trench in the ground, put the tree in, and make sure the roots are tucked down in there. Once your tree is in, you take water and dump it into the trench to saturate the roots. You then tamp (stomp) around the ground the close the trench back up.
An interesting fact about evergreen trees that most people don’t know is, they only grow about a foot each year. These seedlings and transplants that we planted won’t even be ready to cut down for another 6-8 years depending on how big you want the tree to be. When I shared that in my stories most people were shocked to hear and didn’t realize the lengthly process from seed to ending up strung with lights in your home. We’ve gotten a lot of questions asking if we will be opening this up to the public to come and cut trees down, and as of now, the answer to that is no. In the grand scheme of things 400 trees is so minimal compared to legit tree farmers that have hundreds upon hundreds of trees that wouldn’t be cleared out in one season if people came to cut them down. We are however looking forward to our friends and family sharing in this experience with us. And you never know, crazier things have happened, so we aren’t sure where all of this could lead us.
It was so amazing to see our boys helping right along side of us and the same excitement they shared for this new venture. We also had baby C out there because of course he couldn’t miss out on the action, too. We’re so excited for this new journey and look forward to seeing these trees grow right along with our boys each year.