A few weeks ago, the ponderosa pine seedlings were planted on the top of the hill. Originally I was only going to order a couple dozen, but they were pretty inexpensive (less than $1/each before shipping). So I ordered 50 seedlings from Plantworks near La Grande, OR, and 50 from Plants of the Wild in Chico, WA. By ordering seedlings from different sellers, we can see who has the best survival rate when planning future purchases. The plants arrived in a day and in great condition from both sellers. I don’t know how old the seedlings from either seller were, but the ones from Plants of the Wild were considerably larger.
We were lucky enough to have a forester friend I work with come and help. Although I hiked to the planting area, I wasn’t much help with two toddlers to look after. So the fellas carried on and got everything done in less than two hours while I took the kiddos back down and got lunch ready.
We’ll be heading up there soon to place tarps around each seedling, hoping to increase the survival rate. Feeling optimistic, I pre-ordered 300 more ponderosa pine seedlings for the fall planting from the University of Idaho (who was all out this Spring). After a couple years has passed and the pine is established, we plan to add some Douglas Fir. Because Ponderosa is so much more hardy and our planting area is on a tough site, it’s best to establish those first. This will create a microclimate and some shade to help other, less hardy tree species get established.