Presto! We Have Trees!

We have been very busy this fall tying up a bunch of loose ends.  Our main focus has been to get our ceremony site completed.  Our first ceremony for next year is in May and we want to have the space fully functional by then.  As I mentioned here, we are pleased to announce that we finally have grass.  It’s time to get our landscape on!  Step one in our landscaping was to provide a nice barrier from the cart path that leads over the dam on number ten.  It will make for a nice wind break as well as a beautiful area for outside pictures.  Photographers love shade, so we wanted to make sure to provide them with plenty of it!  Dad decided that he wouldn’t plant just one tree.  He’d plant fourteen!  He marked them all out.

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My dad is our handy dandy tree man.  He (and a few of his squirrel friends) have planted basically every tree on our course using either his hands or his tree spade.  This tree spade is older than I am.  I can actually remember helping my dad transplant trees when I was a small child.  I rode on his lap on this very same tractor.  I think we have had this trusty John Deere so long that it is nearly an antique!  There’s a reason for the saying, “Runs Like a Deere.”

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Dad is what you’d call a resourceful welder, so over the years this tree spade has seen its fair share of interesting items used when welding it back together.  Not the least of which was a few wrenches here or there.  The small engine wasn’t cooperating, so dad had to do a little fixing before he could start it up!

2013-10-24 01.42.33He played around with it for about ten minutes.  Tightening a belt here.  Tapping the motor there.

2013-10-24 01.42.47Then, he was ready to give it a go to see if his best friend would start up!

2013-10-24 01.43.46She lit right up and purred.  Dad has probably spent more time with his tree spade than he has his own children.  He has been known to drive all the way into the city of Pleasant Hill to plant trees at my sister’s house.  That’s lots of time on the road!  When I went out to take pictures of my dad putting in these trees, I was reminded that this is a pretty cool machine.

First step is to begin inserting one of the blades into the ground.

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This begins the process of digging a hole where a tree will be placed.  In this photo, three of the blades have gone into the ground half way and the fourth one is getting inserted into the ground.

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Once they have been inserted into the ground, he goes back through each blade and pushes the blades into the ground a little deeper.

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Until all four blades are all the way into the ground and touching one another underneath the surface.2013-10-24 01.46.12

He pulls up the plug of soil.

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The machine tilts the plug back ready for transport.

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Here is one of the many reasons that I don’t do this job.  Dad has to get very close to the edge of the drop off in order to fit the tractor into this tight spot.

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I’d probably end up tipped over the edge of the ravine and stuck in the pond that is on the drop off about ten feet below.

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Then it is time for him to go place this plug in one of the holes that he has ready just for this purpose around our property.

2013-10-24 01.47.38Dad disappeared for about 30 minutes and returned with our very first tree!

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He carefully backed it into place.

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After planting trees for nearly forty years, he has this down to a science and had the tree centered in his open hole on the first try. 2013-10-24 02.23.01The tree spade lowered the tree into place.

2013-10-24 02.23.17After the tree is in its place and is lined up straight and not at an odd angle, Tom removed the bar, so that the tree spade can pull away from the tree.

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There you have it!  Our first tree!

2013-10-24 02.26.32After it was in place, dad started the whole process over until he had two lines of trees.

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We are very excited that this stage is complete.  These trees are about fifteen years old and dad planted them when they were mere sticks of about 10 inches in height!  We think they make a beautiful backdrop to our ceremony site!

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How about you?  Been doing any tree planting in your neck of the woods?  It’s the best time of the year to get it done!

Post by Allison

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