Thursday, June 25, 2009

Is Potting Tree Planting

The last couple of days I have been working in the greenhouse potting tree seedlings. I like to think of it as tree planting! I am just planting them first, before some else will plant them.

I was planting black spruce and jack pine. In a little more then a month the seedling should be pot bound enough to be planted outside. One day one of these trees may end up on the Timmins Honour Role of Trees as the largest example in the area.

"Pot bound" is when the roots take up enough of the pot that it holds all the soil into a compact ball of roots. When you flip the pot over and remove the pot you can see healthy white root tips, the tree is ready for planting.

White pine were also potted recently, but I was not the one doing it. They look great. Who
ever buys these white pine will be buying the Provincial tree on Ontario. The Arboreal Emblemof Ontario.

Another activity going on in the greenhouse, while I was tree planting, is thinning. In the picture below Annie is thinning. When the seeding machine drops seed into the container sometimes more then one seed lands and germinates. It is important that every container only has one tree seedling. The doubles are removed while the seedlings are still tiny. It is easier to do it before the roots get tangled.

The seedling will grow and become root bound in the container, same as a potted plant only on a smaller scale. The seedling will be removed from the container, with soil encased in roots, to later be planted. In some cases the entire container will go to the field and the tree planter will remove the trees, pack them into their bags and plant them.