The Q&A Archives: White Pine Seedlings

Question: I have started a white pine garden of 15 seedlings. The soil is clay. What can I do with either the soil or fertilizer to spur growth and ensure a healthy start to these trees?

Answer: Go very easy on the fertilizer. Clay soil is rich in nutrients, and you don't want the trees to grow too fast--you want nice, even, healthy growth. Clay soil can tend to stay very wet, so I hope the spot is well drained. They will do best in full sun, and should be spaced so they won't shade each other. Plant to transplant them to their permanent home when they are a foot or two tall. They'll recover more quickly from the shock. And remember that white pines get very large -- up to 200' tall! So don't plant one as a foundation plant. Other dwarf conifers are better in that location.

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