The Q&A Archives: Planting Ponderosa Pines

Question: This week I am having delivered 25 Ponderosa Pines which I want to plant in the windbreak. (For a couple of weeks in July or August it will be quite hot.) These trees have been grown as seedlings for two years and as transplants for two years. They are 18-24" tall. My question to you is this: Are these trees ready to go into the windbreak as soon as they arrive or should I keep them in my tree nursery for another year? Thank you very much.

Answer: Glad you are enjoying this online format.

Transplanting always sets a plant back, since it disturbs the delicate roots; my suggestion would be to plant the trees in their final planting spot if possible. Smaller plants recover more quickly from transplanting than larger ones, so I don't think an additional year in your nursery would necessarily help. You will, however, need to provide the new transplants with water during dry spells. (This would be true no matter what the size of the newly planted tree.) If the area is exceptionally windy, you might want to rig up some temporary windbreaks, such as a snow fence, to help the trees get established.

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