Albert Francis Blakeslee.

Trees in winter; their study, planting, care and identification online

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Plums: — Red June, Abundance, Burl)ank, Bradshaw, Imeprial
Gage, Lombard, Yellow Egg, Reine Claude.

Cherries: — May Duke, Wood, Knight, Tartarian, Hortense, Mont-
morency, Morello.




Ordering Trees — It is always well to procure catalogues from
several reputable nursery concerns. Other things being equal, it
is advisable to order trees from a local nursery. The so-called
"tree agent' is not always reliable and, for this reason, best results
will follow the practice of ordering directly from the nursery.
Since there is so much confusion in names of trees, it is well to
make sure that the nurseryman knows what trees are required.
The Latin name should always accompany the common name.
Even then there is danger of confusion, and to be absolutely
sure of getting the required species, it is desirable to go to the
nursery and personally examine the trees.

Nurserymen carry usually two or more grades of trees. As
a rule the difference between first and second grade trees is in
size or "caliper." If this is the case a second grade tree is
likely to give satisfactory results. It may be a little later in
maturing, but since a small tree suffers less from "shock" in
transplanting, it is likely to catch up to the larger-sized tree
within a few years. It is not advisable to buy third grade or "cull"
trees for they are likely to be weak growers or ill-shaped specimens.
The price of nursery stock will depend upon the grade and upon
the age of the trees. Where quick results are demanded it is
advisable to buy trees two or three inches in diameter or those
that are five to ten years of age, or to j^lant mature trees as
described later.

Where trees are grown on the place they may be moved with
large balls of earth attached and in this way the shock and risk
of moving may be lessened.

''Puddling" and ''Heeling In" — Trees come from the nursery
in boxes or bundles. To prevent them from drying out the roots
are usually packed in moist straw or other material. If they
should arrive before planting time the roots should be "puddled"
and the trees "heeled in." Puddling consists in dipping the roots
in a semi-liquid mixture of clay and water. This forms a coating
of clay over the roots and prevents them from drying out. Heeling
in consists in digging a trench from one to two feet in depth,




depending upon the size of the tree, into which the bundles of
trees are placed and their roots covered with soil. In order to
make sure of having the trees on hand at planting time, it is

Fig-. 34, Nursery stock "healed in."

sometimes necessary to order them shipped in the fall. AATien
they arrive they may be heeled in until ready for use in the

Prune Before Planting — In the process of digging, no matter
how carefully done, many of the roots are sure to be broken off
or injured in some way. To balance up for this loss of roots the
tree should have its top greatly reduced. This is done by cutting
out superfluous branches and by heading in the remainder. This
practive is not necessary nor desirable for Evergreens. Trees
with abundant root systems will not need to be headed in
so severely as those deficient in roots. The older the tree
when moved the greater the danger in losing its roots, and
the greater the necessity for heading in. With trees not more
than three or four years of age, the removal of most of the past
season's growth will be sufficient, but with older trees it is usually
necessary to remove two or more years' growth. With some trees,
like the Pin Oak, Ginkgo, Poplars and Evergreens, whose peculiar
beauty is dependent upon a single stem or central leader, it is
necessary to do the pruning on the side branches. This pruning
and heading-in greatly reduces the chances of failure and yet does
not seriously effect the rate of development. The more severe the
pruning the greater the growth during the first few seasons.



It is therefore better to ere by over pruning than by not pruning

Fig-. 35. A fruit tree before and after pruning, showing- proper
treatment preparatory to planting-.

The roots also will require some pruning. All mangled roots
should be removed, making a fresh, smooth cut. Long, sprawling
roots may also be shortened in to accommodate a smaller hole.



Preparing tlie Ground — Too much cannot be said will

1 reo-ai-'

to the necessity for making the tree comfortable in its new


Bv City Forester Cromie.

New Haven. ConnecticuT.


.Nursery grown frees H
inches in diameter, with
veil-developed head and
fibrous roots, give best

Prune hraTiches to checK evap-
oration durmq the first year

Lowest branch 7 feet
above the pavement

'Galvanized wire guard. 6
feet hign. 6 mcties m aiam-
eter, half- mch ■mesh.

Clothesline, covered vitK
rubber nose, inside guard.

"^Chestnut stake. 2X inches m
diameter 9 feet long.

,Uqht mulch oF well rotted man-
ure, covered with loaxa t^ust
not touch the roots.


^''-y^ Open space m sidewalk. 3t feet

^ - _y'2^ wide, 6 feet lonq. to allow watering
's- "^ :l^^ and ferrillzinq. If necessary, cover
with iron qr^ing.

Hole 3 feet deep, 3 feet
wide, 4- feet long, filled
with rich loanv

Protect roots from drying while transplanting

VorK soil among roots with fingers-, then stamp in in layers

V/ater frequently during first two summers.

Fig. 36. Diagramatic specifications for tree planting,
followed by many municipalities.

A scheme

position. Wherever practicable, the ground should be plowed
deeply and subsoiled, and in this way the feeding area for the


roots will be enlarged. In low places, where water is likely to
stand during wet seasons, it will be necessary to underdrain, for
few trees will thrive in wet soil. Tile underdrains should be
placed about four feet below the surface. If nearer the surface
they are likely to be stopped up by the roots of the trees. Where
there is an impervious hard-pan near the surface it may be broken
up by the use of dynamite.

On city streets it is usually impracticable to plow, except when
planting newly-formed streets and avenues. AVhen it is not
practicable to break up the whole area where trees are to be
planted, larger holes and greater care in their preparation will
be necessary.

Most soils are deficient in both plant food and vegetable matter
and are greatly benefited by heavy applications of stable manure.
Where the young trees are widely separated it is well to restrict
the application to a radius of about six feet around each tree.
It should be thoroughly mixed up with the soil. On city streets
where the application must be restricted to a small area the
manure is usually mixed with the soil that is placed around the
roots of the tree. For this purpose only very fine, or well-rotted,
manure should be used.

Staking the Ground — The setting of stakes where the trees are
to be planted is recommended for most kinds of plantations.
Where trees are to be planted in a straight line along a roadside
or on a city street, the problem is a simple one. When trees are
planted for definite effects about the home or in parks, the work
is often perplexing and the correct location of the stakes often
necessitates much shifting. A stake is much easier shifted than a
tree, and the location of trees may be decided upon before the
approach of the planting season.

Time to Plant — Spring planting usually gives better results
than fall planting, although with care trees may be planted in
the fall with much assurance of their surviving. The spring is
the natural growing season and trees planted at this time
commence to send out new roots immediately, so that if they were
somewhat carelessly planted they would stand a better show than
those planted in the fall and allowed to remain over winter in an
unfavorable condition. If it is desired to plant in the fall it



is of the utmost importance to get the soil well packed around
the roots and to apply on the surface a liberal amount of stable
manure or other coarse material to prevent the tree from being
heaved by frost. Those trees having succulent roots^ like the
magnolias, should always be planted in the spring. Spring planting
is usually done as soon as the ground warms up and before the
buds begin to swell.

Making the Holes and Filling In — Where the ground has been
well prepared, it is only necessary to make the holes large enough
to accommodate the root system. Where it is impracticable to
cultivate the whole area where trees are to be planted, it is well
to dig the holes much broader and deeper than is necessary to
accommodate the roots. With ordinary sized trees the holes should
be about two feet deep. Before setting the tree, however, the hole
should be partly filled with surface soil with which some well-



Fig-. 37. The Planting - board. A useful device for locating- trees in
their correct positions.

Fig. 38. How the Planting - board is used.


rotted manure has been mixed. The tree should be set at just
about the same depth at which it grew in the nursery. The roots
are spread out naturally and the fine surface soil thrown or sifted
in about them. Only a small amount of soil should be thrown
in at a time and it should be well tamped, avoiding any open
spaces beneath or about the roots. A j)ointed stake will be found
serviceable in tamping the soil about the roots. The last few
shovels-full should be thrown loosely about the tree to act as a

^^Tiere it is necessary to get the tree in the exact position
where the stake stood, a device called a planting-board will be
found useful. Such a contrivance may be readily made from a
board, eight to ten feet in length, by making a notch in the
center and a hole at each end, as shown in figure 37. Before
digging the hole the board is placed on the ground with the notch
adjusted to the stake that marks the position of the tree. A
guide stake is then driven in the ground through each of the holes
at the end of the board. The board may then be removed while
the hole is being dug, after which it is placed back on the guide
stakes and the tree adjusted to the notch in the center.

Moving Large Trees — The demand for quick results in tree
planting often necessitates the moving of very large trees. Trees
from twelve to eighteen inches in diameter are often successfully
moved. Very large specimens require the services of expert
tree movers, who have the proper equipment for the purpose.
Frequently, however, it is desiral)le to go to a neighboring forest
for moderately-sized trees for home planting. Trees from six to
eight inches in diameter may be moved with a fair degree of
certainty and without an elaborate equipment. Since trees grown
in the open are usually more shapely and have better root systems,
they are likely to give better results when transplanted, than
forest-grown trees.

The principles involved in transplanting large trees are the
same as for small trees, but the work is performed at greater
risk. Experts, however, seldom lose a tree.

Where trees are to be carried short distances it is well to
preserve a large ball of earth around the roots. If a large pro-
portion of the roots are kept intact, it will not be necessary to
cut back the top so severely. Where trees must be transported



long distances it is usually necessary to wash the soil from the
roots and to carefully wrap the latter with moist straw and burlap.
Most trees will need to be severely headed-in or dehorned^, but
those with many branches may be safely moved after being severely

Fig;. :','J. A large Evergreen being transplanted,
earth is being retained on the roots.

A large ball of

pruned throughout tlie whole top. This treatment obviates the
necessity for changing their natural habit. Some trees, of course,
may be greatly improved in form by a severe heading-in. As
in the planting of small trees, the important point with large
trees is in getting the soil well filled in and packed around the
roots of the newly set tree. By directing a stream of water about
the roots the soil may be forced well under the base of the tree.



Newly set trees should be securely guyed for at least one season,
or until their roots become firmly established in their new

'' \

wi f

Fig-. 40. Transplanting a large tree, showing the method of binding
up the roots, when it is necessary to transport long distances.

Trees with an abundance of small roots are more likely to
survive the process of transplanting. The species that are more
commonly and successfully moved are the Maples, Elms, White
Ash, Basswood, Catalpa, Horse-chestnut, Pin Oak, Poplars, and
Willows. Trees with tap roots and few fibrous roots, like the
Hickories and most Oaks, are moved with less certanity. The very
soft and tender rooted trees, like the Tulip and the Magnolias, are
also difficult to move without loss.

Newly-set trees are likely to become ill-shaped and badly damaged
if not properly supported and guarded during the first few years
of their life. This applies especially to street trees, but lawn trees,
although they many not require guards, should be supported in
some simple and inconspicuous manner.

Stakes — A single stake, painted green, and long enough to
reach almost to the top of the tree and to extend into the ground
at least two feet is the simplest method of supporting young
trees. It is made pointed at the lower end and, after a
hole is made with a crowbar, it is driven into position. Sometimes



two Stakes are used, one on each side of the tree, but there is
no special need for this additional expense. (See fig. 41) A
common method of attaching the tree to the stake, which should be
done at two or three places, is by means of a manila rope run

Fig. 41. A simple and effective method of staking and guarding
young trees.

through a piece of rubber hose. This ;. tied around the tree,
using an ordinary double knot, and then the ends are tied aiound
the stake. The' knot between the ree a .d the stake prevents


chafing. This is all the protection needed for trees on the lawn
or in positions along the street and roadside where there is little
danger of injury from passing vehicles and thoughtless people.

Guards — Street trees^ being subject to various forms of injury,
require guarding as well as supporting and for this purpose a
combination tree-guard and su23port has been successfully used in
Washington and other cities. These are four-sided wooden boxes
attached to four stakes driven into the ground. The trees are held
firmly in the center of the box by means of leather straps attached
to the corners. Although cumbersome and unsightly in appear-
ance, they are very effective and remain in position for several

A simple and inexpensive guard may be made of heavy wire
mesh and used in combination with the single stake. The cylinder
of wire should be about six feet high and should be attached to
the stake. Wire cloth made of number 16 wire and with one-
inch meshes comes in rolls twenty inches wide. Twenty inches
is just about the right width to encircle the tree and the cloth,
therefore, may be cut in six-foot lengths. The upper edge of the
cylinder may be bound with" a piece of rubber hose to prevent
chafing. There are many types of iron guards on the market, but
they are quite expensive and are of very little support to the
tree unless they are set deeply into the soil. They are commonly
used in connection with grills, where they are very useful. They
are less conspicuous and take up less room than the wooden box.

Grills — Where trees are set in openings in the pavement or
sidewalk, the space around the base of each tree is often covered
with iron grating to prevent the soil from becoming packed so
hard as to make it impervious to water. Such devices, of which

Fig-. 42. A g-ood type of Gri]

there are many styles, are known as grills. They are usually cast
in sections and are adjusted so as to come flush with the side-


walk They are supported on stakes driven into the ground. It is
to leave a slight depression in the ground under the grJl
for the purpose of holding sonie of the water that may run mto it.
The ar?h ^mediately around the tree, however, should be some-
Slt elevated to prevent the water from commg m contact wrth
the trunk.



There are many people who believe that a tree after being
properly planted requires no further treatment. While

Online LibraryAlbert Francis BlakesleeTrees in winter; their study, planting, care and identification → online text (page 9 of 31)