getting tree starts easily for very little $

flowerbug

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around selected trees put down areas of landscape fabric (to prevent the roots from going down too far and making it easier to lift them to replant) and then top that with crushed limestone mulch a few inches thick (the thicker the fewer weeds you will get). crushed rinsed limestone. other mulches will also work, but this works well for us.

also for trapping wind blown seeds you can space some lines of rocks to trap pine cones or such.

we harvest hundreds of tree seedlings every year and give them away and sometimes we have even sold larger trees we've grown up further (the rare exception to my desire to not sell things).
 

PatriciaPNW

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Interesting! What species do you do this with? BTW, I got 20 or so viable fir starts when I noticed a parking lot ground cover interspersed with several inch high starts. I grabbed handfuls - fast. I potted the 30 with best roots and kept them by porch all summer so easy to water. That 20 figure is the healthy survivors: some turned brown despite water and shade. Some are now planted in time for the rainy season while the rest get another years growth before it’s out to the wood lot with them. Also, I haven’t done it but a cheap permit lets you take starts from government forests.
 

Lazy Gardener

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I have a seedling apple tree (started from an apple that I ate) that has now been grafted with Liberty. It is growing on in a pot, and will be planted next spring. I have 2 seedling pears (bought from St. Lawrence Nursery) that will be grafted with a Japanese and some sort of American pear next spring. My previous seedling pear was grafted with Seckel, and will be ready to prune one of the scions off next spring. In theory, I could take that pruning, and graft it onto one of my other seedling pears, or even graft it onto one of my juvenile apple trees that are just beginning to bear fruit.
 

frustratedearthmother

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I'm not on the level of grafting - but am impressed! I got several pine starts by just having an old hanging basket hanging from a pine tree. The original plant died, but plenty of pine seedlings got started there. DH pulled them out and into individual pots. He has a love affair with pines :hu so I'm glad it worked out for him.
 

flowerbug

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apple seeds are very easy. plant them about an inch down in the fall. i did a very small test plot of them once in a garden and it took me up until just a week or so ago to finally get the removed (about five years later than planned). the roots/trunks were about two inches across for some of them and they were repeatedly cut back. some did die off, but enough others kept going. for those who have grills and want some apple wood for smoking you can have a good supply of sticks from this method.

i should have mentioned that this technique also works very well for lavender and delphiniums along with poppies, nigella and some others too.

here we have mostly cedars, maple, white pine and then the poplars which come in on the wind. once in a while a squirrel will move some acorns around, but not too often and rarely in the limestone, but they may try to stash some among rocks if they can. that is where i sometimes find them sprouting. we have a mouse and chipmunk hotel (a pile of sand with rocks over it and a few trees planted on it when the place was built - these trees are all now too big and too close to the house and i wanted to remove them but was told no, so they stay for now along with the rocks, sand and chipmunks and mices, voles, etc. that want to live in there). the only real positive to me is the tree frogs that sometimes show up and some birds...)... the shade i can do without... big white pine tree perched on sand. sound like a recipe for disaster? does to me... *sigh*... uh, what was i talking about. haha... :)
 

Hinotori

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I want some big leaf maples so I read up on the propagation. Next May/June I'll be taking the cuttings.

It's such a common tree here but the previous property owner cut them all down.

Every spring I plant willows out in the semi marshy area that the moron ran heavy equipment over and "leveled". Digging really isn't something I'm going to do in our rocky soil. I take a bunch of willow cuttings and go around with a metal pole and poke holes then stick the willow cutting in them. Enough have grown over time that it's no longer under a foot of water during spring.

That method actually works on cottonwood as well. The trees have spread themselves when they've dropped branches in late winter. I learned the hard way to collect them after storms.
 
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