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Planning your Forest Planting

Planning your Forest Planting

By Ken Schultz

Yose-Ue or forest plantings have always intrigued me. I have a few in my collection; the first one I planted is now about six or seven years old. I had purchased ten seedlings in a bare root bunch that the Club had ordered. At that time, I did not have an appropriate “forest tray” to plant them in; so I bought an eighteen inch plastic saucer that goes under a similarly red/terra cotta colored plastic pot and drilled about twenty ¼” holes in it for drainage and wiring.

The materials we are providing for this workshop are larch and trident seedlings. They will definitely need root training, so if the pot or tray that you made in January is shallow you may want to bring a “grow box” to start them in. After a year or two of training they can be repotted.

If you do plan to use a slab, or make your trees grow on a rock, you should make and bring some muck. Muck is a mixture of clay and peat moss. The correct formula gives it modeling clay like texture. DO NOT use modeling clay - it has oil in it to keep it soft.

Normally, in a forest planting, the stock are numbered largest to smallest. The number 1,2,and 3 trees are carefully placed, towards the front of the forest (to give the perspective, then the smaller trees are arranged around them. Sometimes the trees are all in one clump, or you can separate the trees into two groups. The number of trees in each group is up to you. The separation may be to simulate a road, path or stream passing through your forest. You may also want to bring a stone or stones. A large stone can be a mountain with your trees arranged around it. Or a series of flat stones can be a pathway. Turface or chicken grit can be used to simulate a stream.

To give your forest an “established” look collect moss to cover the soil after you have planted your trees.

While we are providing trees, you should bring soil and wire to ensure that you have what you need. 1 mm to 2.5 mm wire should be large enough. Since the Trident Maples are likely to be on the small side a sharp pair of scissors are probably the only tools you’ll need. The Larch are supposed to be a little larger. If you haven’t paid, you’ll need to bring your money too.