Thread: Douglar Fir planting question

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  1. #1
    Acorn
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    northern Colorado (zone 5)
    Posts
    11

    Douglar Fir planting question

    An unusual surprise here:

    I ordered 10 Doug Fir "seedlings", thinking I would put those little guys into planters for a year or more and then plant them permanently in spring (this coming year or next, depending on how they did, indoors/winter and outdoors/spring-thru-fall, in their planters).

    What I expected were 12-18" seedlings, but what arrived today were more like saplings... the shortest at 42", the tallest at 54", and everything in between. Trunks vary between 1/4" and 1/2". Shocker!

    I'm thinking these are mature enough for their permanent home, but it's too early in the season here (Zone 5 = November), and I need a few days to prep their homes (lotsa rocks and hardpan, wandering deer, mountain stuff). For now I have placed them into jumbo planters, thinking better that than their cardboard shipping box.

    Opinions please:
    1) transplant now to their permanent location, or
    2) transplant to permanent location this November, or
    3) leave in their planters until spring (and indoors this winter)

  2. #2
    Acorn
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    northern Colorado (zone 5)
    Posts
    11

    RE: Douglar Fir planting question

    So many curious lookers, but no one with an opinion? Whatever.

    Ok, I'll go first: my local nursery tree guru suggested that the saplings remain in their planters outside, over winter (they need cold), but in a protected area (we have high winter winds) surrounded by some hay bales, well mulched, and watered throughout the winter. Transplant in the spring.

    I guess this answers my question. A pic of my Douglas fir "seedling" crop.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    Georgia
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    RE: Douglar Fir planting question


  4. #4
    Sapling
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    michigan zone 5
    Posts
    68

    RE: Douglar Fir planting question

    I'm no Fir expert but getting your conifers in the ground right now is the best bet. Getting them in the ground insures that the roots go through the freeze thaw cycle they need. Leaving them in the pots increases the chances of drying out or drowning the roots. Looking at the soil in the pots and saying your planting in rocky soil reinforces my opionon. Dig the holes big and add a few bags of compost. I'd leave the rocks out and mulch heavily.

  5. #5
    Acorn
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    northern Colorado (zone 5)
    Posts
    11

    RE: Douglar Fir planting question

    Thanks for the input.

    We've had 2 snowfalls already in the past 10 days, each around 15"; overnight lows have mostly been in the teens. I may be in Zone 5, but clearly the elevation puts us 3-4 weeks ahead of those lower down.

    I just received my ADF "membership" trees, a packet of very nice looking Norway Spruce seedlings. I had no choice but to plant these in a large planter for the season; I followed the accompanying instructions for heeling in seedlings. I'm confident at this point that all trees -- Douglas Fir, Norway Pine (Red Pine), Norway Spruce, and other conifers -- will do well in their pots, at least I hope they do as the die is now cast for the winter. I'm still waiting for my fall ADF order of White Pine and some Cedar and Cypress. With any luck they will not arrive.

  6. #6
    Sapling
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    michigan zone 5
    Posts
    68

    RE: Douglar Fir planting question

    Good Luck, The only further Advice I can give you is to cover the trees with leaves and perhaps surround the taller ones with burlap so the leaves don't blow away. It's a process used to grow zone 8 figs in Michigan.

  7. #7
    Oak
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Knoxville,Tn
    Posts
    356

    RE: Douglar Fir planting question

    arikari

    Can you tell where you ordered these? All the ones I ever get are twigs. They are doing fine just still kinda small.

  8. #8
    Acorn
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    northern Colorado (zone 5)
    Posts
    11

    RE: Douglar Fir planting question

    hi Spruce,

    I have two very excellent sources for you:

    Douglas Fir source (in addition to my Dawn Redwood and Giant Sequoia): Jonsteen Nursery, a northern California wholesaler, www.jonsteen.com.
    Their web retailer is www.SequoiaTrees.com, offering the gamut of west coast conifers (how about a bonsai Bristlecone?).
    They are still offering the Douglas Fir "blowout" of 10 medium size (they say up to 2 feet) transplant plugs. At $2 a tree, this is fantastic.
    Please note: my shortest fir was 42", the tallest 54" high. I guess they got overrun! My order from them is surviving well in their snow cocooned pots. Happy campers.
    Jonsteen ships UPS.

    White Pine and Spruce, Norway Pine and Spruce source (and a slew of most everything else):
    www.Nurseryman.com, based in Grand Haven, MI.
    Click on their link to reach NurseryMen.com for their conifers.
    I found this an excellent source for all sorts of conifers and related information.
    Nurseryman ships USPS for orders under $40, UPS otherwise.

    I have also searched www.BrooksTreeFarm.com, but this was for large quantity (250+) conifer seedlings for a possible windbreak here.
    I have not ordered from them yet and have no experience with them.

    Best of luck with your tree search!

  9. #9
    Acorn
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    northern Colorado (zone 5)
    Posts
    11

    RE: Douglar Fir planting question

    TnTreeHerder,

    Sorry, I addressed the wrong member,

    Still the same answers, though.

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