Tips for Planting Pines

Although red pines aren’t exactly the tree of choice when it comes to providing
deer habitat, they do provide hiding cover extremely fast, and their are quite easy
to get established. I have dabbled with planting a very small amount of red pines
(75) this spring and have learned some tips that might assist you as well.

The key to planting any types of pines (or spruce, or cedar, or fir) is to remove
weed competition near the planting site. On large scales, planting sites need to be
cultivated or sprayed a year or more in advance. On smaller scales (like mine), this
can be done by scalping the sod in a square-foot area. Position the seedling and backfill.
Tamp the soil firmly to remove air pockets. An added boost would be to add wood mulch
around the perimeter (eventual drip line). Be sure to keep the mulch at least 4 inches
away from tree trunk. If it’s too close, it can heat up the soil stress the tree in
summer (even kill it). Mulching is usually not an option for large-scale plantings,
but the trees will eventually take root and outgrow the competition. It just takes
a bit longer.

To provide maximum growth and dense cover, space the trees 6 feet apart in rows and
space the rows 8 feet apart.

There are numerous diseases pines can contract. For more information on those, click here.

Dan Schmidt, Editor