PLANTING AND CULTURAL REQUIREMENT
Planting and cultural requirements for EDIBLE NUT PINES, OTHER NUT TREES, MINOR FRUITS, RARE, & UNUSUAL TREES & SHRUBS, are precise, but with a a little patience they can be established and maintained quite easily. Our secret is the development of a special inoculate (mycorrhizal fungi) which enables the trees feeder roots to absorb nutrients from the soil and the trees are able to grow faster, more immune to diseases, and produce at an early age. This inoculant is composed of natural organic materials.
Our inoculant consists of natural ingredients which promotes Mycorrhizal colonization. High rates of ammonium nitrogen and phosphorous retards the growth of this fungi. We do not recommend addition of any type of fertilizer mixed with the ground at planting time. Use two applications of a water soluble solution of 10-10-10 three weeks apart up to July 15 in the first year. Commencing the second year and following years use natural fertilizer, well decayed manure, seaweed sprayed on several times, or others. If not readily available use 2 cups of a commercial granular fertilizer 15-15-15, two applications beginning mid-March and June. Adjust amount accordingly as trees mature. Whether using natural or granular fertilizer keep at least 8 inches from the base of the tree. With our inoculant you will find that you can reduce applications of fertilizer because of threads called hyphae in the soil. They absorb minerals and makes them available to the tree. In return, the trees provides the fungi with a place to live and supplies them with sugars and amino acids. One can observe whether the tree is healthy and putting on at least 3 inches and upward of new growth each year. Do not apply fertilizer after the second week of July, as the trees may not harden properly for winter.
Edible Nut Pines
Our pine trees are ready to plant as soon as they arrive or are picked up from the Nursery. As soon as the bare rooted trees arrive, the container should be opened immediately and the packing material (shredded newspaper) should be checked to make sure it has not dried out. If the packing material is dry, then add some water to it. The trees may be kept in the shipping container for a day or so in a shaded cool location. We recommend that the trees be planted as soon as the package is opened to ther permanent location; if it is not possible to plant the trees as soon as possible, then they should be removed from the container and "heeled in" the ground until ready to plant in their permanent location. We recommend that a plan be made and the holes dug before the trees arrive. It is suggested that the holes be 1 foot deep and 1 foot across.
Planting the tree is quite simple. Take our inoculant and mix it with the soil at a ratio of 25% inoculant and 75% soil, mix it quite thoroughly. Then place a handful of inoculant in the bottom of the hole. Use some inoculant to mulch the ground around the tree. Water well after planting. Control of weeds around the trees is necessary; we do not recommend herbicides because it will defeat the purpose of the inoculant. A mulch is recommended.
Spacing of the trees vary with the type and age of trees. Korean Pine, Siberian Pine, Swiss Stone Pine, Sugar Pine, Macedonian Pine and Russian Cedar should be spaced 30 feet apart. (Note: Planting may be closer - up to 10 feet apart to get early production, then either remove with a tree spade to enlarge orchard, or cull out when they start to overcrowd). Dwarf Siberian Pine should be planted 10 feet apart. Allow 20 feet between rows.
Edible nut pine trees should be planted in well drained soil. Swiss Stone Pine will do well in clay type soil; Korean Pine prefers a sandy loam type soil.
The Pines in the fall, lose some of their needles, (this is natural) and these needles will provide a natural mulch. After several years the labour intensity required for these trees will be minimum.
Protection from rodents should be provided for the first 2-4 years. A physical barrier which is essential fro protection for the trees survival. Also an orchard bait which is available is very effective with rodents. It is a chemically treated bait coated with wax and is applied in late November or early December just before the first snow fall. We apply this manually by scattering a few kernels under the trees at the base. No spraying is required.
Edible Nut Trees, Minor Fruits, & Rare, & Unusual Trees, & Shrubs
Before the trees arrive or are picked up, one should have made a plan for planting, and have the holes dug. The ideal situation is to be ready to plant the trees as soon as they arrive or are picked up from the nursery, but this is not always possible. So we instruct our customers to do the following, to prevent any loss of trees. After the trees arrive, the container should be opened and checked to be sure the packaging material (we use shredded newspaper as it holds moisture very well, also the ink acts as a disinfectant around the roots) has adequate moisture. If it seems to be drying, then add some water to the packaging material and store in a cool dry area until you are ready to plant. If this is not possible, then one could ‘heal’ the trees in the ground. Note: if healing in, make sure that the roots are well watered. This should apply to nursery stock picked up from the nursery as well. This applies only to bear rooted trees. NOTE: Some of our larger size of trees have to be bent to fit into the shipping container. As the trees are dormant when this is done, it will not damage the trees. Upon arrival simply straighten the trees out and handle as normal.
Once you are ready to plant the trees, it is very important to keep the roots from exposure to the sun or wind to prevent them from drying out. We use a ‘Water Gel’ which we mix with water in a container. The tree roots are placed in the container and this gel sticks to roots and the tree can be placed in pre dug hole with the gel still on the roots. The gel will help hold moisture around the roots in dry spells.
We recommend that you use a 50% inoculant well mixed with a 50% soil mixture before putting this in the hole around the roots of the tree. Make sure that the tree is well watered after planting. Pruning of the deciduous tree is recommended as this compensates for the loss of some of the root system when trees are dug. Control of weeds around the tree for the first couple of years is desirable to keep the competition down. We do not recommend herbicides, because it will defeat the purpose of the inoculant (Mycorrhizal fungi) - it will kill it. Use of a mulch is highly recommended.
We recommend that you plant at least two trees of each variety to increase production, but one need only plant one tree and expect to harvest a good crop of nuts. The exception to this is the Chinese & Japanese chestnut, they require at least 2 to 3 trees for cross pollination.
Spacing of trees vary with the types of trees planted. Butternut, hickory, tree hazels, & chestnuts may be planted 20 feet apart. Black walnut, heartnut, Persian walnut, & Pecan may be planted 30 feet apart. Hazels (bush type) may be planted at 10 feet a part.
One of the most important aspects to planting nut trees is good drainage, soil types do have some bearing, but most will do well on different types of soils. The chestnuts do prefer a sandy type of soil.
The soil PH is extremely important, especially for the Chinese Chestnut, it prefers 4 to 6. Black walnut, butternut, hazels, heartnut, Persian walnut, & hickories prefer 6 to 7.
Fertilize the trees the first year with a water soluble 10-10-10 solution applied up and to the middle of July. Do not apply any later or the trees will not have time to harden off for the winter. 2nd year and thereafter apply a natural fertilizer, (Liquid seaweed sprayed on several times a year, or other natural fertilizer. Use of a water soluble fertilizer is preferred as some commercial granular fertilizers interact with the inoculant and the mycorrhizal fungi will be destroyed. Applications of ammonium nitrogen and phosphorous will retard the colonization of the mycorrhizal fungi. Levels should be below 10 mg. P/liter.
Protection from rodents should be provided for the trees. A physical barrier which is essential for their survival is essential. Coating the trees with a repellent is recommended also There are many on the market. We prefer to use one brand which we mix with water and using a hand sprayer are able to coat the whole tree. Applied correctly this will protect the trees for one season. There is available a ‘orchard bait’ which is a chemically treated bait of ground corn and coated in wax. It is applied in late November or early December, just before the first snow fall and it is very effective in controlling mice. One application per year is all that is required.
Nut trees require little spraying. We apply a dormant spray only as required. No other spray is needed. Caterpillars are our only problem and these are quite easily controlled without spray. We physically remove them and it takes very little time. By removing debris disease may be minimized.