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Trenk, Fred B. (Fred Benjamin), 1900- / Forest planting handbook

Plantations for special products and purposes,   pp. 29-34 PDF (1.7 MB)

Page 30

reach an age of 20 to 25 years. On the other hand, walnut trees
growing in mixture with other trees generally maintain a very satis-
factory rate of growth. A grove containing as many as 300 walnut
trees per acre, if mixed with other trees, is sufficient for either nut or
timber production, and as the stand becomes crowded, the other hard-
woods may be thinned out for fuelwood.    -
   If seedling stock is used, the long tap roots of the young trees
should be cut back to a length not to exceed 10 inches. Planting
should be completed before the trees leaf out. A spade or grubhoe
is most serviceable for making the planting holes.
   Stratified or pre-treated seed requires planting between April 20
and May 1. The nuts should be planted about two inches deep, and
covered with loose soil. A shovel should be used to loosen the soil to
a depth of 10 inches. The other hardwoods may be planted at this
time, in the same way that walnut seedlings are planted.
Christmas Tree Groves
  The frequently asked question, "Is it profitable to grow Christmas
trees in a plantation?" has no widely applicable answer. Well-shaped,
freshly-cut trees from a plantation have a distinct advantage over
wild trees cut weeks in advance of the holiday season. Wild trees sell
for only a few cents each on the stump. The much higher prices
finally paid by the customer include transportation-costs and whole-
saler and retailer profits. Whether plantation grown trees can com-
pete with wild trees depends upon the plantation being near enough
to a large market to reduce transportation costs, a volume of produc-
tion sufficiently large to meet wholesalers' requirements, or an assured
direct retail market.
  Assuming the prospective Christmas tree planter has satisfied him-
self of the economic soundness of the venture, some information on
the choice of trees, source and sizes of stock, planting methods, and
care of the plantation are of value.
Choice of Trees
  Although there are many kinds of trees marketed for Christmas
trees, the choice for planting in Wisconsin is quite limited. Norway
spruce will probably be most commonly planted for this purpose,
principally because of the economy possible in obtaining seedling stock.
It maljes a fairly rapid and uniform growth. It is unwise to stimulate
faster growth by the use of fertilizers, because this will produce tall,
open-grown trees which are not nearly as desirable for Christmas
trees as the compact, closely-grown trees. The native white spruce is
very similar in appearance to the Norway spruce. It has somewhat
shorter needles, grows more slowly, and therefore is generally more
compact. Some markets will not accept this tree because of a reputed
offensive odor given off by it after it has been kept in a warm room
for several days. The black spruce of our northern swamps probably
would be an excellent tree in a plantation where the soil is moist and
has a high percentage of humus or peat.

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