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  1. #1
    Silver Member WinterDeere's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    Philadelphia
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    John Deere 855

    Default Planting 40 Norway Spruce 5' - 6'

    So, we aim to plant forty Norway Spruce this spring, likely 5' - 6' height, and we're looking for the best way to git'r done. I hate paying someone to do an entire job I can do myself, but getting 40 done in short order might be a bit much for one guy and some voluntary help. I will need to traverse several hundred feet of my lawn, which is kept in golf course-like condition. I'd like to minimize damage, but can always repair if damage is unavoidable.

    Ball size is to be approx. 24" diameter x 18" high. Options I've considered are a PTO-driven auger on the back of my Deere 855, a skid steer with a more serious hydraulic auger, hiring out just the digging part of the job to a pro, and hiring out the entire job to a pro. If I used my Deere 855, I suspect I would have to run a much smaller auger, drill several holes in close proximity, and clean out with a hand shovel. Okay for a half dozen trees, but likely no way to do forty of them. Not sure on pricing for renting a more serious auger, versus hiring out the digging, or if I should be looking at something else completely. Also, not sure what kind of auger diameter I could run on a 25hp CUT.

  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    2,567
    Location
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Planting 40 Norway Spruce 5' - 6'

    I use a Bucket Spade on my kubota B3300SU tractor/loader: 33-hp / 1,900 pounds / 4-WD / R4s.

    Bucket Spade is a good, effective tool but my tractor is about minimum size/weight necessary to operate one. For light work FEL hydraulics suffice. For heavier work you "set" the bucket spade, then drive it into the ground using tire traction.

    Tractor Forks, Bucket Forks, Loader Forks
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  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Sep 2008
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    NE USA
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    JD LA115, WH 244, WH 525 hydro-pops,Original Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Planting 40 Norway Spruce 5' - 6'

    Quote Originally Posted by WinterDeere View Post
    So, we aim to plant forty Norway Spruce this spring, likely 5' - 6' height, and we're looking for the best way to git'r done. I hate paying someone to do an entire job I can do myself, but getting 40 done in short order might be a bit much for one guy and some voluntary help. I will need to traverse several hundred feet of my lawn, which is kept in golf course-like condition. I'd like to minimize damage, but can always repair if damage is unavoidable.

    Ball size is to be approx. 24" diameter x 18" high. Options I've considered are a PTO-driven auger on the back of my Deere 855, a skid steer with a more serious hydraulic auger, hiring out just the digging part of the job to a pro, and hiring out the entire job to a pro. If I used my Deere 855, I suspect I would have to run a much smaller auger, drill several holes in close proximity, and clean out with a hand shovel. Okay for a half dozen trees, but likely no way to do forty of them. Not sure on pricing for renting a more serious auger, versus hiring out the digging, or if I should be looking at something else completely. Also, not sure what kind of auger diameter I could run on a 25hp CUT.


    As you have or plan on planting 40 conifers you need:

    1.the time to do it
    2. the weather to be favorable being the spring time
    3. dry ground in order to use machinery
    4. tarps to gather the excess dirt in order to create water dams around ALL
    the transplants and to keep bags of peat moss and unsteamed bone
    meal, lime and sand to make up for the rocks should should remove after bottoming the hole.
    5. water to water the roots EVERY DAY for a two week period (watering to the point where the
    water pools in the dirt dams around the transplants.
    6. I am not that impressed with Wilt Proof as a stress treatment for trees and shrubs
    when you have transplant shock on soft woods as they usually do not survive.




    About the machinery side of things:

    Depending on your soil-(which of course may have a bed of clay under your excellent lawn)
    A transplanting auger is your best choice as it will permit you quickly gauge the hole depth
    and did the hole from the outside in with the auger as it will act just like a taper tap and dig in.

    IS there any reason you cannot not buy smaller transplants ??????????????
    Smaller transplants will require less digging and a small transplants will not require
    staking as there is that much less surface area exposed to the wind.
    You will still need a a small transplant auger for potted trees as this permits the roots to grow outward quickly.

    The larger issue is wind where a single line of conifers will be a buffer but will less able to act as a windbreak.
    Is there any reason you cannot order a herd of potted trees from Musser Forests or Monrovia Nurseries?

    If you still want that five to six foot tree for an instant wind break you will need to use 4 foot steel fence posts to stake the trees for a year on three sides 120 degrees apart which will permit them to gain roots quicklyand avoid wind damage by keeping them anchored. Smaller potted trees are better for what you need but you have to examine all the items involved.
    .


    When I planted my potted christmas trees I always dug the hole deeper than I needed and added pea gravel first then sand then the root ball (without the burlap)the soil mixed in with peat moss and bone meal and my potted trees are close to 25 feet tall now after 30 years.

  4. #4
    Silver Member WinterDeere's Avatar
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    Philadelphia
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    John Deere 855

    Default Re: Planting 40 Norway Spruce 5' - 6'

    Thanks, guys! The reason for the larger trees is that I'm trying to block out a recently cleared lot, soon to be a construction site, and eventually a neighboring house. I'm actually planting the trees on THAT property, not my own, as the present owner has agreed to allow me to do so. We have a very picturesque property, and hedgerows shielding our view from all neighbors, but the hedgerow left along this particular property line (the rear) is too sparse in winter, and we can see right thru it. These trees will be planted along the existing hedgerow, to bolster it, and actually sit in a very low area of the property where wind is not typically a problem.

    I will be buying the biggest trees I can find locally for $40 - $50 each. If I have to pay someone to plant, that will eat into the budget I planned for the trees, and force me to smaller trees. If I'm using smaller trees... then it's much easier to just plant myself. Sort of a catch-22.

    My tractor also weighs 1900 lb. dry, and over 3000 lb. with both the bucket and ballast box mounted, although I run turf tires and only have 25 hp Yanmar diesel.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2005
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    576
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    Ontario

    Default Re: Planting 40 Norway Spruce 5' - 6'

    To plant trees of that size I would use a 24 inch tree augur and charge $20 a hole. I don't live anywhere near you so local contractors may vary in price but that will give you a bench mark to go from. Oh yes... where I live the augur bit would cost $5-600 for my machine or $65 a day to rent. I have a hydraulic augur on my mini excavator.

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Sep 2008
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    NE USA
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    JD LA115, WH 244, WH 525 hydro-pops,Original Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Planting 40 Norway Spruce 5' - 6'

    Quote Originally Posted by WinterDeere View Post
    Thanks, guys! The reason for the larger trees is that I'm trying to block out a recently cleared lot, soon to be a construction site, and eventually a neighboring house. I'm actually planting the trees on THAT property, not my own, as the present owner has agreed to allow me to do so. We have a very picturesque property, and hedgerows shielding our view from all neighbors, but the hedgerow left along this particular property line (the rear) is too sparse in winter, and we can see right thru it. These trees will be planted along the existing hedgerow, to bolster it, and actually sit in a very low area of the property where wind is not typically a problem.

    I will be buying the biggest trees I can find locally for $40 - $50 each. If I have to pay someone to plant, that will eat into the budget I planned for the trees, and force me to smaller trees. If I'm using smaller trees... then it's much easier to just plant myself. Sort of a catch-22.

    My tractor also weighs 1900 lb. dry, and over 3000 lb. with both the bucket and ballast box mounted, although I run turf tires and only have 25 hp Yanmar diesel.

    __________________________________________________ ________________________________


    Summer time is not best time to transplant due to the temperature and the amount transpiration that will occur with a newly planted tree and watering is not something you can forget. The transplants will need water even if its raining inorder to soak the roots.

    Before you get very far you need to have the utilites marked out too!! There are a lot of unmarked utilities still in exisitance and phone cables are usually buried only one foot deep...........................

    At the rate your going you might as well rent a small track hoe and do it that way as a weeks rental will cost you less than a post hole
    digger and a 24 inch tree planting auger.

    Depending on the bucket size one or two bucket cuts wide will get you to the depth you need as long as you pull out enough dirt to mix up
    peat moss, unsteamed bone meal and the dirt without the sod and extra sandto make the soil more porous to aid in water percolation to the roots.


    Renting a tracked back hoe will save a lot of labor and and it will allow you cut out the sod and to mix up the dirt much quicker and then plant the seedlings. Do not reuse the piece of sod!

    Pray for no clay and add gypsum if you have clay-it will disssolve the clay.

  7. #7
    Silver Member WinterDeere's Avatar
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    Philadelphia
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    John Deere 855

    Default Re: Planting 40 Norway Spruce 5' - 6'

    Thanks for all the replies. I'll do the PA-one-call thing for marking utilities, purely for liability protection. We've already had them marked for several other projects and I know there are NONE in the area where I'll be working. This is at the back of our property, far from the road and utilities.

    I've received other recommendations for a mini-excavator, so it seems that's the consensus opinion, if there are any.

    Yep... my planting choices are spring or fall, and I missed last fall, so they'll go in this spring. Water supply is no problem here, but it will be a time sink to water daily. I can tolerate that for one summer, and don't mind investing in some extra soaker hoses, etc.

    I do not anticipate clay to be a problem. We have dug back there to re-route some drain lines, and it's good soil at least 4 feet down. This place was a farm for more than 240 years, and the soil is good and deep. There are also very few rocks, as that area was plowed yearly for a few hundred years. There will be many smaller tree roots, though, as I'm planting along the line of an existing hedgerow.

  8. #8
    Elite Member schmism's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    Peoria IL
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    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: Planting 40 Norway Spruce 5' - 6'

    rent this guy for a few hrs. couldnt be more than a couple hundred bucks.



    that is unless you already have a PHD in which case id spend the couple hundred for an auger to go on it.
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

  9. #9
    Veteran Member jimgerken's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
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    Minnesota
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    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: Planting 40 Norway Spruce 5' - 6'

    Sounds like an excellent excuse to buy a backhoe. Like a loader, once you own one you will wonder how you got along without a backhoe.

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
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    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Planting 40 Norway Spruce 5' - 6'

    Just wondering here. You are planting on the other property with the current owners permission. What is to say the future owners when the lot is developed will not come in and cut down the trees?

    MarkV

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