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It’s Tree Planting Season!

Great Tree Tenders staff plant trees on Soper-Wheeler Sierra Lands
Great Tree Tenders staff plant trees on Soper-Wheeler Sierra Lands

Great Tree Tenders staff plant trees on Soper-Wheeler Sierra Lands

February 2012, Ron Hague, Operations Manager –

Since 2005, we have planted close to one million trees on our Sierra properties, and we’re adding to that number right now.

We commenced tree planting around the third week of January and so far, we’ve planted approximately 90,000 Ponderosa Pine, Sugar Pine, Douglas Fir and Incense Cedar on our Soper Ranch, Gellerman, Oregon Ridge, Strawberry Valley and Lost Creek properties.

The trees are planted according to elevation and seed zone. Seeds of specific seed trees are harvested at recorded elevations then sent to a nursery, where they are propagated and grown into seedlings  producing  superior planting stock.

These seedlings will be planted at the same elevation that the seed was harvested at. This year, the dry winter and lack of snow has allowed us to access areas that are usually snowed in this time of year, like Strawberry Valley and Lost Creek.

All of the planting has been accomplished with contracted labor crews provided by Great Tree Tenders and supervised by company employees. Planting was completed by the end of January in the Sierras, and continues through February at the coast, where we’re busy planting Redwood.

David Hays starts the site preparation by piling forest debris.

David Hays starts the site preparation by piling forest debris.

Most of the planted areas in the Sierras have been site prepared by David Hays, our main cat skinner, with help from contract site-prep operator Joe Thornton.

In addition to brush piling, Joe contour-rips most of the planted areas with a winged sub-soiler to an approximate depth of three feet.

Contour-ripping  furrows the soil across slopes, which reduces surface soil erosion and increases soil moisture on the site. This translates into increased root penetration, better survival and superior growth, much like rototilling prepares your garden for planting.

Generally, the survival rate of our planted trees exceeds 90%, and with the current residual soil moistures, there is no reason to assume we won’t achieve that.

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