Help with tree choices…

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Dec 2, 2008
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I have a mile and a half of road line that runs next to my property. It's a track and a half gravel road. It is very flat with no water drainage. There has been a redneck sub division going in across the street that has made the water run off a huge nuisance. Most of the users for the road are form the sub division.

I worked on fixing up this area a bit but need some help. On my property line (state has no right away on my land at this time) I put down an 8 foot wide strip of river and field rock. After the rock there is a 5 foot change in elevation with a 150 foot strip of land before my alfalfa field. I planted yard clover and it is growing nicely in that strip.

I would love to plant some trees in this strip to help with the wind form blowing there trash onto my land. I was looking at putting in a strip of trees this spring but do not know what type to put in. I did buy some k-line irrigation stuff and will be water it twice a week for the first year.

I'm looking to plant 2 or 3 rows of trees in a 25 foot wide strip. It will get swampy roots every time we have a good rain unless the state steps in and dose something about the mess. I need something that will not suffer form large amounts of ice damage. I do not want something that gets massive but can get a good size. I was thinking about getting a few boxes of pine tree saplings but do not know what kind to get or if it would be a good choice. Any suggestions on tree types and spacing that will work well on the cheap.
mobgrazer":getd1s2y said:
unless the state steps in and dose something about the mess.

Slightly off-topic.......but, depending on the county you are in, and their specs regarding road widths and amount of lots serviced by the road, the state may not step in. Not sure about your county, but in my county, the gravel/dirt roads most of the time are county and not state depending on the width of the road and the designation. Most roads around here, 20 to 30 foot wide do not need to meet V-DOT specs as they are considered to be "private". Roads with a 40 to 50 foot width need to meet V-DOT specs and are then considered state roads, and the state has jusridiction.

Anyhow, I was thinking pine as well. Cedar would be another choice.

For your area White Pine should work well. Plant 8X8 to make the barrier close up quicker. Call your local Department of Forestry for seedlings. Sold at cost of production. Or to order online and delivered to your home.
I was thinking Scotch Pines. They branch out low to the ground and don't get too awfully tall if I remember correctly. They would stop a lot of trash, wind and nosey eyes. :D Not sure opn the cost though. White Pine may be just as good or better.
I don't care if the state fixes the mess. I put down the large rock to keep others form messing the stuff on my side up worse then it already is.

So white pines spaced at about 8' should work. I know I could get a few cases off the DOF cheap but needed to know what kind to get and if pines would be able to deal with soggy ground.

So I think I'm looking at 3000 pine seedlings to plant. So for the next important question, what's the best way to plant seedlings? How about doing a tree planting fund raiser and paying 25 cents a tree to the boy scouts? Anyone know a cheaper way?
Explain the soil and water conditions to your forstry people and they should be able to recommend a good tree for those conditions
Your local DOF personel can line up the tree planters for you. Cost is $100-$125 per thousand trees. Maybe less if they are planting more near you. If you do not know your local DOF person let me know which county you are in and I will put them in touch with them. I work for the DOF.
In your choice, id make sure it doesnt spread like a weed. Cedar would solve your problem and grow quickly but your new chore would be cutting it out of every fence row you own. Way to be pro active at solving the problem. The county takes care of the roads up on the grandparents farm in kansas, not to say they do a good job, but they do something...
Sounds like you got some good recommendations on trees but if you are willing to do something other than trees you might want to consider Eleagnus pungens aka fruitlandi. It is a dense bush which can tolerate a wide range of soils, is drought tolerant and it grows fast and can be spaced at 8 - 10 foot intervals to create a buffer that will not only block vision but sound as well. If left unpruned it will get about 12 foot wide and about 12 foot tall. Have used it for same purposes as you are wanting and it works well. Berries are good to eat too.
It is a state road and V-dot dose fix the gravel on it once a year or so. There right-a-way is not on my property. I did have a talk with the local office before I did any work over there to make sure I was not going to break a law. They even sent out a grader , front end loader, and few shovel stands when I had part of it planed that affected traffic (or lack of), so they could fix there gravel, and so they could shoot the ****.

I do know my local DOF but never thought about calling him for tree planting or it being that cheap. I do like the Eleagnus pungene to help keep people out and still have not gotten the nurseries to call back with a quote on the price.

I'd not doing this to block people from seeing my alfalfa field but more as a wind protestant of other peoples trash if you know what I mean.

Thanks for the good info so far.
We planted a bunch of leyland cypress trees in our yard for a windbreak. I'm impressed with their growth and the amount of wind they stop.
If you have time to spare and not much money to spend...yes, go with seedings (6 to 18" tall)...if they are kept watered and critters don't eat them, they should make a decent stand in 5 to 10 years. As a former nurseryman, a seedling grown in a container will take 2-3 years (with fertilization) to get to a saleable "Five Gallon Container Size" which can be anywhere between 3 and 6 feet tall.

On the other hand, if there is a lot of moisture, consider the very fast growing species (up to several feet a year) such as Lombardy Poplar or Cottonless Cottonwood (same genus), Birch, Willow, or perhaps Silver Maple and some others. The hardwood trees are generally very slow growing even in the best of conditions.

When planting a container grown tree that is 5 to 8' tall at purchase, there is very limited growth the first year (roots getting established in ground), then the 2nd or 3rd year they begin to take off.

You might also try a fast growing hedge (such as privit or euonymous coloratus) and then plant trees spaced out as needed behind the hedge row.
As Dun said, check with your forestry division. Without seeing the site, I would recommend a cypress of some sort. Dawn redwoods would also work but are more expensive. Any of the fast growing wetland hardwoods are very brittle and trashy. After about ten years, they will be about as bad as the garbage itself. I also like the idea of a shrub. Most of the ones that will work spread quickly and are considered a nuisance in some states. Two that come to mind are russian olive and autumn olive. They will do what you are trying to do in addition to attracting wildlife like cocaine. Do a little more homework before settling on anything. For your application, I would recommend planting 12"-24" seedlings with a step in dibble bar. plant a tree in 30 seconds in decent soil.
mobgrazer":yt2yxa8v said:
more as a wind protestant of other peoples trash if you know what I mean.

I understand completely! In the semi not-too-distant future we will be re-working some fence, changing to a different type for the very same reason. Hoping it will cut down on the amount of Dollar Store and Wal-Mart bags floating out in the field.

genela(amer maples, fast growing, get about 25 ft tall and 12 wide, then put some blue spruce pine trees in rows also, puta row of pines then the maples then another row of pines, dont putthe trees to close together especially pine trees
When I was thinking about doing the pine trees I was thinking about thinning and chipping them once they started to fill in. I just got off the phone with a local farmer and he thinks I should go with a cheap 4' chain link fence and then put some type of shrub on the out side and some hard wood trees on the inside every 2' or so.

8 years ago they got approved for turning the land into a trailer park. The owner started the project and then just sat on it with 8 trailers. In the last month there has been a bunch of activity so I called him up and took him out for dinner. I found out he is going to have 50 spaces ready by July and will have 50 more by the end of the year. I was nice, eat my words, and paid for dinner.

The county is trying to stop him but he has everything in order to do it. 8 years ago every one passed it off as it would never happen and they wanted the money off it. Not many people came to the meetings for it back then because it did not affect them at the time but there are more people that have moved into that neck of the woods so now it dose.

It is not going to be a visible issue for me at this time but will be a pain in the butt for everyone. I'm going to order the stuff to put up a chain link fence about noon. This will keep out the trash that I know will come and will plant some type of hedge bushes and trees later in the year. I know the fence will be a PITA to me or someone else at some point but form the looks of this I don't have any choice unless I want to pick up trash to cut alfalfa or in 4 years when I move the cows back down there.
Wish i lived closer $250.00 a thousand on them pine seedlings would make for a nice couple of days work. Use to would have done it in a day.
To me planting seedlings is something for the boy scouts of America. The local group will volunteer to do stuff like that for a predetermined donation. I do not know if they have done seedlings before but I do know that they can plant a bunch of trees in 5 gallon buckets in a day.

But yes 250 for a thousand would not be too bad on my left butt cheek but doing the work would be.
Do you have a State Forest Service? Before we built our house, we got a guy out, look at the location and soil and recommend trees for our windbreak. We were able to buy bundles of the trees from them for practically nothing.
I have talked to just about everyone now. After weighing out all of my options putting in a cheap chain link fence will be the cheapest solution that will keep the trash out now. I will deal with planting some hard wood trees and shrubs as needed at a latter time.

I picked up the posts and the wire I'm going to use on top instead of a pipe. The wire will not be in till Thursday. If the weather will work with me I will have it up in the next 2 weeks.

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