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Thread: Best way to plant small saplings?

  1. #1
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    Default Best way to plant small saplings?

    Looking to plant 100 saplings this fall, they are 1-3ft tall. Should I space them out (20') right away or plant them closer together and plan on thinning/transplanting some later? I'd hate to have to move them again in 10 years but feel I can keep a better eye on them/water/protect from wildlife if I keep them close together for now. I was thinking maybe 7' spacing and then thin/transplant as they grow?

  2. #2
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    I would plant them 20-30 ft apart and plant a different kind in between.It would save transplanting them again and be helpful in case of some kind of disease.

  3. #3
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    I would say if you wait for more than a few years, you could rule out transplanting. So it would be thinning. My own plan has always been to use intercropping as mentioned by maple hill. The mix of species can add to overall health of the plantation. It can also allow for thinning in future of something non-maple. Some things to consider is how much invested in your trees, how much space(property) are you looking to plant? Wildlife protection is a BIG job. Lot's of possiblilitys when it comes to critters bothering your trees.
    30 years making syrup.
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    3500 taps today...hopefully 5000 soon with some high yields tapped in 15 years?

  4. #4
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    Why not plant them every 5' and tap all the saplings except the ones at the 20' spacing. Then in 10 years, thin all of the saplings that have been tapped.

    If you have vacuum, you could benefit from saplings and have correct spacing for future growth.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  5. #5
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    When i saw this thread the other day I thought of mixed species planting too, but didn't post anything. You could even do fruit trees in between maples. The good production life of a a semi dwarf fruit trees is around 20-25 years. That way you'd be multi cropping your ground and just about the time your maples needed space your fruit trees would be declining and could be removed.

  6. #6
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    That's an appealing idea Buckeye. Planting trees requires a real commitment of time and labor. Here in northern New York, saplings need to be watered religiously for the first year. I plant six to ten trees every Spring and find the watering to be a real time-consuming chore. I can't imagine planting 100 trees without setting up some sort of irrigation system.

  7. #7
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    I would plant the smallest saplings you can. When I was a kid, we planted about 20 in our yard, several 3'+ trees and the rest all less than 1'. The smaller trees adapted better and thrived. My parents now have all of the smaller, and none of the initial larger trees left. The bigger ones were just too hard to get enough of the root wad. I also think by the time they were more than 3', they had set in a particular growth pattern, not bushy like you want.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Similar to what I was thinking, 7' spacing and then do two rounds of thinning. Just seems attractive to keep them close together while they are small for watering, etc. I've read that some go as close as 3' spacing for saplings if they intend to tap them young.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by karl evans View Post
    I would say if you wait for more than a few years, you could rule out transplanting. So it would be thinning. My own plan has always been to use intercropping as mentioned by maple hill. The mix of species can add to overall health of the plantation. It can also allow for thinning in future of something non-maple. Some things to consider is how much invested in your trees, how much space(property) are you looking to plant? Wildlife protection is a BIG job. Lot's of possiblilitys when it comes to critters bothering your trees.
    I was thinking that if I kept them close I could possible fence them for a few seasons and it'd make watering easier. If I let them put on 2-3' or so would it be too late to transplant them again, or am I just making too much work for myself?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by minehart gap View Post
    Why not plant them every 5' and tap all the saplings except the ones at the 20' spacing. Then in 10 years, thin all of the saplings that have been tapped.

    If you have vacuum, you could benefit from saplings and have correct spacing for future growth.
    Similar to what I was thinking, 7' spacing and then do two rounds of thinning. Just seems attractive to keep them close together while they are small for watering, etc. I've read that some go as close as 3' spacing for saplings if they intend to tap them young.

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