Q:

How do you plant pine seedlings?

A:

Quick Answer

There are two methods to plant pine seedlings: hand planting and machine planting. Hand planting is the most common method, and it consists in manually digging the hole in the ground and planting the seed. A machine planter mechanically digs the hole and compresses the soil after manually planting the seedling.

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Full Answer

The most important thing when planting pine seedlings is the depth of the hole. The hole needs to be deep and wide enough to let the roots grow correctly, that is, vertically and downwards. The depth of the hole needs to be at least equal to the length of the roots, although it is recommended to dig a bit deeper and refill the bottom of the hole with top soil.

If the hole is too shallow, the roots grow horizontally, or even upwards, developing a "J" shape. Compress the soil surrounding the seedling so to avoid air pockets around the roots for two reasons: air makes the roots dry, and the lack of contact with the soil makes the roots less able to extract essential nutrients.

Properly store and manipulate the pine seedling. If the roots are dry at the time of the planting, the pine has less chances to survive. Roots must be kept moist and away from sunlight and breeze.

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