Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1

    Default Implement to Prepare for Tree Planting

    I've got about fourteen acres, and each year I work on planting around my perimeter to create a private oasis from the outside world. I'm planting lots of pines, arbor vitaes, and forsythia in my first "phase" of beautification.

    The soil here is very dense, thick clay. When dry it is like mortar, and when wet it is like gooey play-doh. For each tree or shrub that I plant, I have a routine that is good exercise, but makes for slow progress. I use the wide blade of a cutter mattock to peel off the sod in a circular area larger than the tree. I then use the mattock to soften the soil and break it up, because it starts as clumps. I then use a shovel to turn the soil over and break it up some more. Then, I can finally dig the hole.

    I am looking for an implement to help me with this. I have a 19hp diesel tractor. I have spent some time reading on this site, and am wondering if a sub-soiler would help? I don't have the budget for a good tiller, but I see the fairly cheap sub-soilers are supposed to loosen the soil. But, do they just break it up into large clumps that I would still have to bust apart by hand?

    Sorry for the long post, thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,663
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Implement to Prepare for Tree Planting

    Bull I think a sub soiler would just make large clumps and you would still have a lot of hand work. Now if you could get a post hole auger with a 12" bit you could drill your hole and loosen the soil just fine.

    MarkV

  3. #3
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,791
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 1025, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010

    Default Re: Implement to Prepare for Tree Planting

    My neighbor used about an 18" OD posthole digger to plant his trees. His is a 35 hp tractor.

    I'd think you could do it with about 3 or 4 12" holes on your tractor. It may not drive an 18" PHD in your soil. A wide hole is better than a deep one. With 3 or 4 holes, you'd have a nice, wide hole.

    Ralph
    The natural gardener
    God's original intent

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    416
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Have a few of this and that...but I bleed green!

    Default Re: Implement to Prepare for Tree Planting

    How many trees do you plant at a time? What size root ball are these plants? 2 gallon? 30" B&B? smaller/larger?

    I have heard good results from using a trencher, it crumbles the soil, makes back-filling much easier, and takes on water better. If you can rent a walk behind trencher for a day, you may be able to get your needed holes done and plant trees the next day.

    The post digger which I have used, tends to bring up larger ribbons of soil and takes more effort to back fill the hole.

  5. #5
    Elite Member AlanB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,532
    Location
    Clarksville, TN, USA
    Tractor
    NH 1925

    Default Re: Implement to Prepare for Tree Planting

    I would go the PHD route and 12" auger.

    We have a 12" and do multiple holes, and a 24" that is really bigger than we often need.

    We want an 18" but the availabity of them makes them stupid money when compared to a 12" and if you are just doing it occassionally, I think the 12" and some handwork would be a real good compromise.

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    6,548

    Default Re: Implement to Prepare for Tree Planting

    One problem with PHD holes in clay for trees is that the tree will get root bound in the hole. The walls are hard and the lazy roots don't work to penetrate them. Trees look good for 2-4 years then stunt with a twisted up root ball.


    You may want to use a subsoiler and make a cross hatch pattern of furrows going first N/S then E/W. Use the PHD to make a hole for the trees at the intersections. The side walls will be broken in 4 places and the roots will have a place to go. Should work with minimal out of seat time.

    jb

  7. #7
    Elite Member SnowRidge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,091
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT-425 / Branson 3520

    Default Re: Implement to Prepare for Tree Planting



    I use this for planting bare root seedlings in hard ground. I cut the damaged handle off of a dibble and welded it to the bottom of a quick attach plate.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member ampsucker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    569
    Location
    Southeast Kansas
    Tractor
    BX24

    Default Re: Implement to Prepare for Tree Planting

    as mentioned, wider is better than deeper. it's also important to kill the sod in a 3-4 foot radius around the root ball to minimize competition with grasses and weeds.

    i think if i had a limited budget and a lot of trees to plant in a line, i would go with a single bottom moldboard plow. do about 4-5 passes wide in the row you want to plant and your sod problem is gone and the top 7 inches or so of soil is loosened. then, depending on your root ball size, you can come back and either hand dig a shallow hole where each tree is going or rent an auger and drill it.

    although, i agree that it is easy to get a root bound tree in a hurry if you only use an auger and don't break up the sides of the hole. the hole should be wider at the top and deeper than the root ball to get the trunk the same depth as it was planted in the pot. the best way to do this is dig deeper than you will plant and then backfill with loose dirt to build a perch for the roots. this also helps with drainage and keeps the roots from sitting in a pocket of water. very important with thick clay that drains slowly. you can kill a tree quickly in clay soil that doesn't drain well if the roots are always in water and oxygen cannot diffuse down into them.

    if i really had a lot of trees to plant, i would hold out for the roto tiller. i love mine and have found MANY other uses for it. (garden, orchard, windbreaks, loosening up clay soil and sod so can scoop with FEL, incorporating mulch, creating shallow and level drainage ditches i can mow over them, planting grass seed, busting up ice, shallow trenching for surface water drain pipes, digging out potholes in gravel driveway, etc....)

    good luck!
    Kubota BX24 (loader, hoe, 60" belly); Ford 800 tractor; Scott's/Deere 42" mower; 5' and 6' rear blade; 54" Howse tiller; 20' 7,000 lb carhauler trailer; 2 other trailers; 5' dethatcher; 10" single bottom moldboard plow; middle buster plow; 600 lb roller; 3pt auger; front tire chains; Stihl and Honda small engine equip.

    Growing with you season by season.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Treemonkey1000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,894
    Location
    Renton, Washington
    Tractor
    Kubota L3750

    Default Re: Implement to Prepare for Tree Planting

    I have to agree with John Bud about the roots getting bound after a couple of years with that kind of soil. Using a small ditch witch to trench out the soil to loosen it up to a reasonable depth in a square. You still may have to break up some clumps. If you are near any farmers looking to get rid of some manure use that to help the soil. Do you have gnawing animals to worry about eating your new plants? It wouldn't be any fun to plant all of that and have deer ruin them.
    1st Peter 1:6-9

  10. #10
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    15,416
    Location
    Prudence Island, RI
    Tractor
    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: Implement to Prepare for Tree Planting

    There is an attachment called a QuickSpade that might be of use with your FEL bucket if you don't need to dig more than about 18 inches deep. I have the version that fits on to adjustable forks and my version can dig about four feet deep but the bucket only version would still be very useful. It is essentially a very large shovel blade that mounts to either the bucket lip or to forks. I recall that Northern Tool carries them or you can order direct from the manufacturer. The nice thing about them is that you can use it both to dig the hole for the new tree/bush and also use it to uproot an existing plant and move it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_0108smallfile-jpg   -img_0111smallfile-jpg  

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2014 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.