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The planting season has started for Christmas trees

My daughter Campbell holds a couple of Canaan fir seedlings for planting.

While cold, wet weather persists, corn and soybean growers can only sit and watch their soggy fields hoping for sunnier days ahead. Because we plant most, and usually all, of our Christmas trees by hand, we can get out in the fields comparatively early to put our Christmas tree seedlings in the ground. We use a 6-inch auger to drill holes and then four or five of us follow behind, kneeling down in the dirt to plant the trees.

This year we are planting 2,800 trees or so, mostly Canaan fir, but also some white pine, Concolor fir, and Black Hills Spruce. We started planting in earnest on what was the first semi-warm day this season on Saturday. We worked from 8:30 to 8:30 crawling around in the dirt and got about 1,100 trees in on our drier ground. We are still waiting on our wetter ground to get fit, hopefully sometime this week. Because of the very narrow window between rains in the next 10 days or so, we are going to try and plant by hand and with a pull-behind-type planter that has yielded mixed results in the past for the remaining 1,700. The trees are bare-root seedlings we get from various nurseries and cannot wait too long to get them in the ground.

My dad, three brothers and I got some help from my daughter, nephew and a couple of neighbor boys this year. My daughter is three and the trees she helped plant this spring will be ready for harvest when she is 10. For anyone else getting really antsy to plant something, come on out. We’d love to have you and there is something rewarding about planting a tree and working with the Reese family.

My nephew Carson helped to plant some trees too.
Planting trees is very hard work, but it is a great chance to work side-by-side with family.

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