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Thread: Tree planting

  1. #1
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Tree planting

    Besides black walnut trees I would like to plant some other trees on my land. I’m thinking Asian Cherry or Japanese Cherry, I like the blossoms, but I also like the size of Asian cherry and every time I find an American cherry it is a hybrid dwarf tree. Will the Asian or Japanese Cherry be suitable for tone wood in the future once fully grown?
    Last edited by John Bertotti; Jun-20-2022 at 7:38pm.
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  2. #2
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    Fruit trees are manufactured products, rootstock, trunk and fruiting spurs. If you're looking for cherry wood down the road, wild cherries are the way to go but I don't know where you find a sapling. Wild forest trees have large straight trunks, orchard trees have dwarf rootstocks to maximize fruit production.

    I wouldn't think a cultivated fruit tree is a good choice for tone wood because they're highly stressed and the trunks many not even be cherry, but folks do many things I think won't work well
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  3. #3
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    Just to be clear I’m not going for dwarf anything on this project. I have 3.5 acres I want to turn into a forest. I have had no luck finding American cherry saplings.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    It never occurred to me to check Etsy for saplings. Apparently folks sell them.

    https://www.etsy.com/market/cherry_tree_sapling
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  6. #5
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    Never occurred to me either!
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Tree planting

    I don't know for sure what you have in South Dakota but the Iowa state DNR has a state nursery in Ames, Iowa that sells seedlings including black cherry. They sell in lots of 25 at about a dollar a seedling. They start taking orders in September for spring delivery. It appears they do ship out of state as well. The link is below.

    https://nursery.iowadnr.gov/Native-I...woods_c_1.html

    A quick Google search shows a non profit nursery that apparently provides seedlings to the South Dakota Conservation Districts. They have a Pin Cherry listed that is native to the Black Hills and an oriental cherry as well as black cherry. There may be other commercial providers up there. I know there is one large commercial provider in Iowa, Kelly Tree Farm in Clarence, Iowa.

    http://http://bigsiouxnursery.com/

    http://https://kellytreefarm.com/



    Seedlings are about 12 to 18 inches. They require significant prep and care to get established. Now is not the time to plant them. Generally spring is best though some plant in the fall also. In Iowa the state DNR has district foresters whose job includes assisting private landowners in forest maintenance, replanting and things like that. They are a wonderful resource. It appears South Dakota has a similar program if you Google search South Dakota District Foresters. They will help you write a forestry plan for your property.
    The university extension services also provide resources.

    I am in the middle of a similar forest recovery project at an archery club I belong to that was devastated by the big Derecho in 2020. The DNR Forester has worked with us and been a marvelous resource on how to clear the destruction, prep and plant. I will be planting primarily oak and walnut. The forester said birds will bring in cherry and it will establish itself down here. The Iowa state DNR also conducts educational field days a couple of times a year all free of charge.

    Unless you are a LOT younger than I am or have a real long life expectancy it is unlikely any trees you plant will provide usable tonewood in your lifetime. Maybe for the next generation.
    Last edited by CarlM; Jun-20-2022 at 11:02pm.

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  9. #7
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    I donít know why I didnít think of that. Having grown up in Iowa along the Mississippi I worked for the county conservation office a lot of summers planting trees! Thanks for the suggestion! Sadly now it looks like I have more house bills more severe thunderstorms last night pushed water into my house again around windows and under door sills! I might have to remain treeless until I can pay some contractors to fix this! Third time this has happened in a month but last time it was only one window and a couple doors. At the tile we thought it was the seals but it looks like the windows stopped draining water out of the tracks and now the under the door sills means hiring contractors. Just spent 20k, a loan was needed, for a roof that blew off. Seems never ending this year! Iíll still check out our local DNR and Farm services! I know farm services will do something about trees as well! Thanks for the suggestions! As for age Iím not quite 60 yet still a few years to go but anything I plant now will be for my kids and hopefully eventually grandkids! I have planted somewhere around 2000 + trees since becoming a teenager in the 70ís. I really like trees. Moving to SD and living here is quite different than the River bottoms of the Mississippi and Cedar where I grew up! So open!
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  10. #8

    Default Re: Tree planting

    Hi John,

    I'm in Illinois and I have three very large Oak trees in my yard, probably 100 years old give or take. I believe one is a Shingle Oak and the others either a red or white oak. Every year we gather up several garbage cans full of acorns and am constantly pulling up sprouting acorns from everywhere! You just missed this years crop (a big year!), but I think I can find enough left under plants etc that have not sprouted to put together a shoe box full of them. I'd be glad to send them to you if you are interested. PM me.

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  11. #9
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    Thanks I will PM you!
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  12. #10

    Default Re: Tree planting

    It is a long term project anyway. You can start planning now for next spring or the spring after. Your forester can give you advice for things you can do now to get ready,

    One of the Iowa Field days was done on line during Covid. They showed reforestation areas at a couple of the state forests. They would show plots that had just been clear cut, were one year out then three, thirteen and forty years. The thirteen year plot was medium size saplings, about two or three inches in diameter. The forty year plot of oaks was around ten inches which is about the minimum for harvest. It gave me a new perspective on how long term this would be.

    One thing our forester told us was that for oaks you should plant an area all at once, not spaced out over several years because oaks are not shade tolerant. Older tress will shade out younger ones which will not survive. That is the opposite of what I expected. That is the kind of useful help they can give you.

    Good luck with your projects.

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  14. #11
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    I have seen some areas I helped plant back in the ‘70s, I don’t know the ratio of surviving to dead or didn’t make it but they are large lines and spruce now. Looks good! I need to get some soil testing done I had some Black Walnut planted and only two lived more than a couple years and those two dies off this winter. They made it about 7 years. One actually had a black walnut o not last year. I will figure out how to get them to survive. I suspect that last few drought summer and drought winters had something to do with it. Possibly overspray from fields as well. Literal have about seven remaining trees of the 30 or so that have been planted here over the last 13 years. One Blue Sprice which is close to thirteen years old is still barely a foot tall. Crazy!
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    If you’re interested in promoting birds on your property, plant native trees. All birds, even seed-eating birds, feed caterpillars to their young. Native trees are virtual smorgasbords for birds, while ornamentals like Bradford pears are pretty sterile. They provide a place to perch but it’s like a grocery store with empty shelves. Oak trees are particularly rich in caterpillars.

  16. #13
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    O have a tree line first row is some bush with berries and two Mulberry. Second is some sort of other bush that is big third is Linden and the last two are blue spruce. There are a lot of birds in there and it only takes up a half acre!
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    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    Thanks for bringing this topic up John. I’m wanting to know what trees would be useful for instruments grown here in central Illinois. My brother took over our dad and mom’s place. He has 5 +/- acres across the road from his house. There is a small “holler” that starts at an angle from the north west corner towards the east fence. Ending up 75-80 ft. wide 10-15 ft. deep. And on the south east side has a “pond”, (glorified mud hole) with hillsides around it. The rest will be used for baling hay for a nephew. Right now the north part has 5-6 very large black oaks that have large amounts of dead limbs in them. (He’s planning on taking the worst ones out) Just lost the Mulberry and a sycamore that was by the pond to wind this week. Fence row around the plot has a mixture of black oak, silver maples, catalpa, 5 black walnut and a hickory tree. Dad had cows on it since the early 60’s until a couple years ago. We know we will never see them used for anything ( unless I live as long as my dad. Then I’m looking at another 26 years ) But would like to leave something for future luthiers. What trees would be recommended for the hillsides for future instrument use?

  18. #15
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    Back in out timber in Iowa the Black Walnuts did great in the gulley and hills. I do like Black Walnut as back and sides. Not as fancy as figured woods but I think it sounds great when done up right.
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  19. #16
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    Another thing about your hills or slopes, are they prone to erosion? That may influence what you decide to put there. You won’t want anything that stops the under growth from growing. I would think that would lead to more wash out and rutting.
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    Registered User mingusb1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    As an employee of the USDA Forest Service I feel compelled to advise against planting anything non-native. Here in the southeast basically all of the non-native invasive species (NNIS) - herbs, vines, shrubs, and trees come from asia. From the time I've spent in the Dakotas there really aren't much in terms of woodlands but for some Cottonwood and Willow bottomlands, and some juniper and pine areas in the west. It's too dry for forests but not for grass! If you haven't already I'd recommend going to your local extension office: https://pickyourown.org/countyextens...offices-SD.php

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  22. #18
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    No big forests here but along rivers and around homes there are all kinds of tress. Catalapa, Black walnut, Mountain Ash, Elm, Maples, Cherrys, Apple, Cottonwood, Pines, Spruces, Oaks and more i can't even name. Conservation put in a arp tree line of Linden and Blue Spruce. I just have a heck of a time getting anything to grow here. Except the tree line it seems to be doing well and I have a lot of rogue Linden popping up all over. Doubt we will be using Linden in instruments though. I plan to circle my f5.5 acres with Blue Spruce or some kind of Spruce but inside I want some bigger trees. Maple, I have some seeds to grow, Black walnut I hope if I start from the nuts will fare better than the bought ones that made it about one to five years and died. Oak perhaps and i will grow more Linden because I want some to carve some day. I would love some big Cherry. I love Cherry.
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  23. #19
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    Different trees grow in different climates. I'd find any forests near you and "harvest" the type of tree seedling you want. We planted beech and other varieties on our property that way. We also have wild cherry in the hedge rows. Beech is a great wood for banjo necks. I once had an old Washburn banjo with an amazing beech neck.

  24. #20
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    You might also be able to get some information from your local Native Plant Society, in this case the “Great Plains Native Plant Society” from South Dakota: https://www.gpnps.org/.

    There should be lots of knowledgeable folks that could offer suggestions. Good luck. A fun project.

  25. #21
    Registered User mingusb1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    "I would love some big Cherry. I love Cherry."

    Yes, it's a beautiful tree. I'd think you could probably be successful with many/most of the trees you mentioned if you plant in the dormant season, fortify the soil, and then be prepared to do some diligent watering for at least the first couple of growing seasons. Could you set-up drip irrigation somehow?

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  26. #22
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    I’m working on irrigation. Sadly the soil is a lot of clay. I will probably dig a farm pond during this year and work on some irrigation channels that flow from higher to lower. My land is slightly rolling hills.
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    Default Re: Tree planting

    John, I can't tell you what pick is best, what tonewood to use, or who is the greatest mandolin player ever. But, after over 40 years of working with plants, mostly natives , I can say do exactly what Denis Kearns and mingusb1 have suggested. Native plants give you the biggest return on on effort and expense. They are what will to grow in your particular area with the least amount of maintenance and hassle. There is the benefit of attracting wildlife also.
    You might not be harvesting them for building purposes in the future but there is a good chance you could be picking in their shade.

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